I went to the U.S. Government’s Bureau of Economic Analysis Site the other day looking for some information on imports and exports of manufactured goods.
However, when I saw the data for General Imports of Crude Oil by Country, what I saw stopped me in my tracks. (in the supplement, Exhibit 3, page 35 of 47 in the .pdf.)
Here are the top 10 foreign suppliers of petroleum to the U.S. Figures cited are in thousands of barrels, and are for the month of August 2009 from Supplement Exhibit 3:
Saudi Arabia 27,675
Venezuela is our number 2 supplier? Nigeria is number 5. Iraq is 6th, and Angola and Colombia make the top ten?
Quick! Can you name any U.S. companies that manufacture solar panels here in North America? A technology that might just help us replace the need for imported petroleum in our daily lives?
Can you name any North American companies that manufacture lithium-ion batteries? What do you make of these facts?
Perhaps distance and perspective give them clarity.
We follow the ISM Manufacturing Index as an input for our sensemaking as to what is going on in Precision Machining. PMPA’s own Business Trends Report has shown sales in our industry to be recovering. So as we were considering the latest ISM Manufacturing Report, we came across this story from the Financial Post.
The U.S. manufacturing sector grew in October at its fastest pace since April 2006, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The ISM’s manufacturing index climbed to 55.7 from 52.6 in September. This is the third consecutive monthly reading above 50. BElow 50, the index indicates contraction in manufacturing, the line that divides expansion and retrenchment. Also unexpectedly, hiring plans in the beleaguered sector turned positive for the first time in more than a year.
Some economists say they were most encouraged by the signs of hiring in the sector. The employment index surged to 53.1 from 46.2. However PMPA’s survey of members showed that plans to add or recall workers were still nascent, and very dependent on further increases of orders.
According to PMPA’s respondents, “A further 50% increase in sales will result in in the majority of the precision machining industry’s laid off employees being recalled from layoff. A 25% increase is said to be likely to lead to the recall of about 39% of workers on layoff.”