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Industry News and Economic Forecast

A personal note from Keith Prather
September 13, 2017

We have changed the layout of the brief a little.  We now have links within the brief to help navigation.  This week we cover small  business rebound, job openings and ban on diesel vehicles in the future.


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Job Openings Set Another Record High in July
Job openings jumped to 6.170 million in July, a new record high. The country is starting to see a dangerous level of job openings (if it isn’t already there). And, with hurricanes Harvey and Irma hitting different geographic regions in the country, we might see a significant increase in job openings when the data is released for September (release of data will be in November).
China’s Ban of Gasoline and Diesel Automobiles – Major Shift Coming
The writing is on the wall if you are an automaker. The days of gasoline and diesel vehicles are numbered and the impact could create a tectonic jolt around the world. Joining Great Britain and France, China has now said that it will impose bans on “vehicles that run exclusively on gasoline and diesel” by the year 2040. India has said that it will also pursue a ban.
Material Handling Equipment Sales up 160%
The Conveyor Equipment Manufacturers Association said that it’s booked orders for bulk handling equipment was up 160% y/y in July according to a report in Modern Materials Handling. We caught this tidbit because this is the type of equipment that makes everything from warehouse management to e-commerce fulfillment operate better. It’s a continuing indicator of extreme investment and activity happening in the sector – and it is likely to continue to be in a hyper growth mode for a couple more years.
Small Business Sentiment Rebounds in August
The National Federation of Independent Business reported that small business optimism rose in August to 105.3, up slightly from 105.2 in July. That’s a small improvement, but the underlying implications are important. Consumer spending and demand seemed to be one of the primary drivers of optimism for small businesses.
Could Autonomous Vehicle Production Take Off Faster?
The Trump Administration will be reducing rules and regulations for self-driving vehicles this week. The new rules will come in a document titled” “A Vision for Safety” and will have less than 50% of the regulations and rules that the Obama Administration issued in September 2016 in its self-driving bill.

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