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May 2014 Economic Overview

Consumers are becoming more optimistic. They have improving views of current conditions and seem to be taking higher prices for groceries and gas in stride. If the employment outlook were to also improve, wages would help provide a bigger boost in consumer spending. And the good news is that American manufacturing is on verge of dramatic change.

Energy, materials and information technology as well as robotics lead the charge. Though it is not reflected at the petrol pumps, fracking of shale to extract oil and gas could make the US one of the major oil and gas exporters, competing with Saudi Arabia and Venezuela, in the world.

3D printing, robotizing and automating manufacturing increases efficiency and lowers costs. However, these changes do not necessarily translate into increased employment, only more efficient employment. New materials and nanotechnology, though not unique to the US, we have a major head start. US industry is beginning to ‘reshore,’ bring overseas production back to the US. The savings in transport costs could be significant. The United States is not in decline.

Eurozone

Ukraine

The European auto industry continues to recover. New car registration increased for the seventh consecutive month. All major markets throughout the EU made positive contributions.

Euro Area Inflation Rate

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