Friday Roundup: Slight uptick in manufacturing productivity, business economists expect 2.2% growth for 2017, 2.4% for 2018

There are always a few items we’ve read during the week that deserve more attention but don’t make it into our regular posts. So we bundle them for the Friday roundup.

Here’s this week’s bundle:

National Association of Manufacturers: Manufacturing labor productivity revised slighter higher for the first quarter

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that manufacturing labor productivity rose by 0.5 percent in the first quarter of 2017, slightly better than the 0.4 percent gain seen in an earlier estimate. It was the second straight quarterly increase in productivity in the sector, with fourth quarter activity rebounding from declines in each of the two prior quarters. In this release, manufacturing output rose by 2.6 percent, its fastest quarterly rate since the second quarter of 2014….

Overall, these data continue a trend of lethargic manufacturing productivity growth since the Great Recession, which rose just 0.2 percent in 2016. For instance, manufacturing output per worker was essentially stagnant from 2013 to 2016, down 0.05 percent per year on average, well below the 5.2 percent pace experienced from 2002 to 2008.

National Association for Business Economists: NABE Outlook Survey – June 2017

“Despite soft economic growth in the first quarter of 2017, results from the NABE June 2017 Outlook Survey show that panelists’ expectations have been revised downward only slightly compared to those in the March 2017 Outlook Survey,” said NABE President Stuart Mackintosh, CBE, executive director, Group of Thirty. “The weakness in the first quarter is expected to be temporary, with real gross domestic product growth projected to bounce back to an annualized rate of 3.1% in the second quarter of 2017, and to about a 2.5% pace in the second half of the year. The median forecast calls for average annual GDP growth of 2.2% for 2017 as a whole, and 2.4% for 2018. Both these forecasts are down 0.1 percentage points from the March 2017 estimates. Forecasts of other key indicators are largely positive. Nonfarm payroll growth is forecast to average 170,000 jobs per month in both 2017 and 2018. Inflation is expected to remain in check…

“On the economic policy front, large majorities of the panel continue to assume tax reform affecting both corporations and individuals will be enacted before the end of 2018, as will an infrastructure spending program,” continued Mackintosh.

Seattle Times: Big news in tiny Onalaska,Washington: All 43 grads were accepted to college

…at Onalaska last year, all but four of the 42 seniors got an acceptance letter from a two- or four-year college. This year, all 43 seniors were accepted, and 38 plan to go.

This year’s class won nearly $1 million in scholarships, including the state’s College Bound Scholarship, academic and athletic awards, and the Onalaska Scholarship Committee awards.

Like nearby Chehalis, where the district is undergoing a top-to-bottom reboot to increase its college-going rate, Onalaska has worked hard to change what its students do after high school.