Economists' Outlook

Housing stats and analysis from NAR's research experts.

Industrial Production Numbers: August

  • The nation’s factories cut back total production in the past month, implying a marked reduction in economic momentum.  Though GDP in the second quarter grew at brisk pace of 3.7 percent, activity in the second half will be notably weaker at around two percent growth.
  • Specifically, industrial production fell 0.4 percent in August from a month ago and is now higher by only 0.9 percent from one year ago.  That is the bare minimum needed to keep the economy moving ahead.
  • The production of consumer goods is moving ahead at a decent pace of 2.6 percent.  But the production of business equipment and construction supplies is lagging behind.
  • Manufacturing sector jobs, in the meantime, have been falling.  Just as agriculture production has been largely mechanized over the long haul, repetitive assembly line work could be vulnerable to automation.  The jobs that are being created are for those who build machines and robots.  As such, employment in professional and technical services (such as computer systems design and engineering services) is rising.
  • It is projected that possibly over half of current jobs could be replaced by machines and robots within 50 years.  The Luddites and socialists in Britain at the beginning of Industrial Revolution went from factory to factory to smash machines.  Of course we know in hindsight that it was the Industrial Revolution that pushed Britain, and subsequently other Western economies, to rise and greatly improve people’s standard of living over time.  However the replacement of brawn with brain will lead to greater income inequality.  That is, workers at Google and Facebook will do well while those working in factories may have to constantly look over their shoulder.

091515Aa

091515Bb

091515Cc

Notice: The information on this page may not be current. The archive is a collection of content previously published on one or more NAR web properties. Archive pages are not updated and may no longer be accurate. Users must independently verify the accuracy and currency of the information found here. The National Association of REALTORS® disclaims all liability for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information or data found on this page.

Advertisement

Comment Policy

The opinions expressed in reader comments sections on this website are those of the reader and not NAR or REALTOR® Magazine.

About Economists' Outlook

Visit this blog daily to see what NAR experts are saying about the economy, the housing market, and other factors that will impact your business.

Housing Minute

Housing Minute is a monthly video series highlighting the latest housing data from the National Association of REALTORS® in a minute or less.