Best of the Week
Most Popular
1.Putin’s World: Why Russia’s Showdown with the West Will Worsen - John_Mauldin
2. Stocks Bull Market Grinds Bears into Dust, Is Santa Rally Sustainable? - Nadeem_Walayat
3. Gold and Silver 2015 Trend Forecasts, Prices to Go BOOM - Austin_Galt
4.Gold Price Golden Bottom? - Toby_Connor
5.Gold Price and Miners Soar on Huge Volume - P_Radomski_CFA
6.Stock Market and the Jaws of Life or Death? - Rambus_Chartology
7.Gold Price 2015 - EWI
8.Manipulated Stock Market Short Squeezes to Another All Time High - The China Syndrome - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Gold, Silver, Crude and S&P Ending Wedge Patterns - DeviantInvestor
10.Is the Gold And Silver Golden Rule Broken? - Michael_Noonan
Last 5 days
The Price Of Gold And The Art Of War - 18th Dec 14
Euro Succumbs to ECB QE Expectations and FOMC - 18th Dec 14
John Williams: A Downhill Run for the U.S. Dollar in 2015 - 18th Dec 14
Outrage at Taliban Islamic Fundamentalists Massacre of 132 Pakistani School Children in the Name of God - 18th Dec 14
How Inflation Changes Retirement Benefit Choices - 17th Dec 14
The Real Reason It's Tough to Beat the Stock Market - 17th Dec 14
Russian Currency Crisis and Debt Defaults Could Create Contagion in West - 17th Dec 14
How to Profit From Russia's Stock Market Crash - 17th Dec 14
Russia Crisis - If You Put Your Money in the Bank Will You Get it Back? - 17th Dec 14
Crude Oil Price Crash, U.S. Employment and Economic Growth - 17th Dec 14
Opposing Forces At Play In Gold and Silver Precious Metals Complex - 17th Dec 14
Wall Street Will Always Find An Excuse For Not Raising U.S. Interest Rates - 17th Dec 14
Torture, Terror And Elite Schizophrenia In The UK - 16th Dec 14
Eurozone Conflict Will Bring a Major Stocks Buying Opportunity - 16th Dec 14
Viewing Russia From the Inside - 16th Dec 14
Gold and Silver Stocks Bottom - Are We There Yet? - 16th Dec 14
The Financial Industry Pigmen Win Again - 16th Dec 14
Crude Oil Price Epic Blowout - 16th Dec 14
Asian Stocks Markets: Sand In The Gears Of The Bull Market - 16th Dec 14
U.S. Dollar Trend Forecast 2015 - Video - 16th Dec 14
Silver Price Bottom? - 15th Dec 14
Gold Price Base Building Bullish Pattern - 15th Dec 14
Stock Market Probable Pop-n-Crash Today - 15th Dec 14
Stock Market Time for a Bounce - 15th Dec 14
Stock Market Euphoria: The Mother of All Ponzi Schemes - 15th Dec 14
Gold - The Weight of Time as Trend - 15th Dec 14
U.S. Dollar Collapse? USD Index Trend Forecast 2015 - 14th Dec 14
The Rushing Stocks Bear Market and How to Prepare - 14th Dec 14
Gold and Silver Dreaming of a White Christmas - 14th Dec 14
Cyprus-style Bank Bail-ins to Take Deposits and Pensions - The Global Bankers' Coup - 13th Dec 14
How To Renounce Your US Citizenship And Become Stateless - 13th Dec 14
Stock Market Downtrend Underway - 13th Dec 14
Gold And Silver - Wall Street, aka United States, Pulls Off Another Destructive Coup - 13th Dec 14
U.S. Congress Has Guaranteed the Secular Stocks Bear Market is Not Over - 13th Dec 14
Gold and Silver Starting to Show Bullish Signs - 13th Dec 14
Arab Spring II is Coming Fast - The Unintended Consequences of Lower Oil Prices - 13th Dec 14

Free Instant Analysis

Free Instant Technical Analysis


Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Dramatic Stock Market Selloff

The Great American Economic Rebound Has Just Begun

Economics / Economic Recovery Feb 13, 2013 - 02:23 PM GMT

By: Money_Morning

Economics

Martin Hutchinson writes: The U.S. manufacturing renaissance is not just a fantasy - it is actually happening. Jobs that had been outsourced to China and elsewhere really are returning to the United States.

Believe it or not, this "reshoring" already has reversed the long, steady decline of manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

In fact, since 2010 America has added roughly 500,000 manufacturing jobs, an increase of 4.3%.


The economic and investment implications of this reversal are considerable to say the least.

With the disadvantages to manufacturing overseas growing each year, it's no wonder reshoring is beginning to become a major trend.

One of the drivers is cost-especially as it relates to "cheap Chinese labor." As it turns out it's not that cheap anymore.

Three Keys to a Manufacturing Resurgence
According to an HSBC study quoted in the Financial Times, real wages in China's coastal areas have risen 350% in the last 11 years. Demographics are only accelerating the trend toward higher wages.

Last year, China's working age population fell for the first time, by 3.5 million to 937.5 million.

That means the endless supply of young workers from farms in China's rural areas is drying up, pushing China's wages up even further. Already, the country's balance of payments surplus has disappeared, and China's manufacturing costs, adjusted for productivity, have increased from 20% of U.S. costs to some 50%.

That still gives China an advantage in direct labor costs, but the additional costs of international sourcing must also be considered. When transportation, duties, supply chain risks, and other costs are fully accounted for, the cost savings of manufacturing in China begins to diminish.

In any case, unless there's a major downturn in China, its overall competitiveness is likely to continue to decrease.

Of course, the more excitable commentators like to claim that China's cost increases alone will push manufacturing back to the U.S. But the truth is that's nonsense.

Here's why.

There are many other low-wage emerging market countries with decent political and economic stability, all of which have had their competitiveness enhanced by the same Internet and mobile telephony that has pushed Chinese outsourcing ahead.

As such it only follows that the return to U.S. manufacturing from rising Chinese costs alone would be modest.

But there's another factor involved here - and this one is home grown.

The second thing bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. is the rise of fracking techniques for the immense U.S. shale gas deposits. That's different than the oil shale fracking which is unlikely to affect U.S. competitiveness much, because oil can be transported fairly readily (though in the short term excess production from Canadian tar sands has made oil much cheaper there).

However, gas is expensive to transport without an infrastructure of pipelines, which don't exist in most places. With the arrival of shale gas fracking, the United States now has a substantial energy cost advantage for applications which can efficiently use gas to supply energy for local plants--especially those near these shale gas formations.

Finally, in the long run a third U.S. cost advantage may reappear. It is the cost of capital.

With the world's most advanced and developed capital markets, the U.S. has traditionally had the lowest cost of capital- combining the lowest cost of debt with the greatest ease of raising equity for medium-sized companies.

Unfortunately, Alan Greenspan and Ben Bernanke have lost this U.S advantage. By making money easy to get at cheap rates, they have driven the banking system and international investors to invest in emerging markets, lowering their cost of capital artificially.

Whereas previously their cheap labor was offset by expensive capital, today their labor is still cheap, while their capital is also a little more expensive than in the U.S. For instance, when the near-bankrupt, impoverished socialist Bolivia can borrow $1 billion for 10 years at less than 5%, the U.S. capital cost advantage has effectively disappeared.

Of course, with some countries it's not coming back.

China has $3 trillion in foreign reserves and a very high savings rate. Under those circumstances it's going to get all the capital it needs at a cheap price.

But lesser countries, like Vietnam, India and most of Africa, will find capital expensive again once U.S. monetary policy has stopped creating money artificially. That will increase the cost advantage of U.S. manufacturing, at least in some cases.

Of course, who knows when Bernankeism will finally end. My guess is that a crisis will precipitate a return to sanity, but of course emerging markets will suffer in that crisis, as they did in 2008.

How to Invest in the Manufacturing Renaissance
To judge where to put a factory in the U.S. and get the best cost advantage, you need to look at where the gas is, and also where the workforce is abundant.

North Dakota, for example, is unlikely to get a big influx of factories from the Bakken shale. There are barely enough people there to get the gas itself out, and the boom has pushed the unemployment rate down to 4% and brought a massive housing shortage.

Meanwhile, Pennsylvania (and parts of New York and Ohio) have the gigantic Marcellus shale and lots of unemployed workers. However in these states there's another problem: Heavy unionization and no right-to-work laws which makes labor expensive and potentially recalcitrant. My guess is, these states will benefit less than they should from shale gas manufacturing.

The best bets are places like Michigan, where there is the substantial Antrim shale, but also a new right-to-work law, reducing the power of the unions and making labor potentially cheaper.

With high unemployment and good manufacturing capabilities, Michigan could see major manufacturing investments in coming years. Similarly Texas has gas, a steady supply of workers, a right-to-work law and a favorable business climate; it should benefit accordingly.

As for individual companies, it's worth researching in detail, bearing in mind that a modest return to U.S. manufacturing won't benefit General Electric (NYSE:GE) much, for example, because of its size.

However, you might look at the big chemical companies like Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) (based in Midland, MI) which recently split from the National Association of Manufacturers because of the latter's support for natural gas exports.

That's because the chemical business by its nature is gas intensive. Obviously for companies like DOW, if the gas can't be exported, it becomes cheaper here in the U.S.

You might also look at Irving,Texas-based Fluor Corp. (NYSE: FLR) , which will get a large chunk of any business building chemical plants and its share of industrial construction in general.

The great American rebound has just begun.

Source :http://moneymorning.com/2013/02/13/the-great-american-rebound-has-just-begun/

Money Morning/The Money Map Report

©2013 Monument Street Publishing. All Rights Reserved. Protected by copyright laws of the United States and international treaties. Any reproduction, copying, or redistribution (electronic or otherwise, including on the world wide web), of content from this website, in whole or in part, is strictly prohibited without the express written permission of Monument Street Publishing. 105 West Monument Street, Baltimore MD 21201, Email: customerservice@moneymorning.com

Disclaimer: Nothing published by Money Morning should be considered personalized investment advice. Although our employees may answer your general customer service questions, they are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by our employees to you should be deemed as personalized investent advice. We expressly forbid our writers from having a financial interest in any security recommended to our readers. All of our employees and agents must wait 24 hours after on-line publication, or after the mailing of printed-only publication prior to following an initial recommendation. Any investments recommended by Money Morning should be made only after consulting with your investment advisor and only after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Money Morning Archive

© 2005-2014 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

Free Report - Financial Markets 2014