Taking a Look at the Economic and Regulatory Factors Shaping Industry
The old way of doing business is out after a year of big change for many companies. And 2015 promises to deliver more tests and opportunities for established industries and fast-growing sectors alike. Part one of two on business in the new year.
For U.S. manufacturers trying to sell their goods abroad, the new year might not be any easier.
An already enormous U.S. trade deficit in manufactured goods grew even larger in 2014. For the year’s first 10 months, the gap swelled to $606 billion from $540 billion a year earlier, largely due to weak demand in Europe and in Latin America, two of the main markets for U.S. goods. Meanwhile, the U.S. imported increasing amounts of merchandise, from flat-screen televisions to steel pipes, from China.
A stronger dollar made U.S. products more expensive overseas and imports cheaper.
In 2015, demand for U.S. goods should be slightly stronger from Europe, Japan and Latin America, predicts Daniel Meckstroth, chief economist at the MAPI Foundation, a research group. He also expects the U.S. economy to grow at a faster pace than those of other advanced economies. That growth, and a strong dollar, will pull in imports.
Read more: The Wall Street Journal (subscription required)