In today’s report on the fall in durable goods orders, Martin Crutsinger of the Associated Press wrote: (my emphasis added)
Strong demand domestically and overseas has kept U.S. factories humming, making manufacturing one of the strongest sectors of the economy since the recession ended in June 2009.
“Humming”? There is no sense in which U.S. factories are “humming”, unless you consider being buried underground the same as being aboveground. Industrial production of manufacturing, ex high-tech, is still 12% below its 2007 level. (see chart below). Total manufacturing is about 9% below its 2007 level.
And last time I looked, manufacturing employment was still down 2 million jobs.
Argue if you want that manufacturing is not essential–I don’t agree, but at least it’s a position. But don’t engage in Orwellian double-speak by saying that U.S. factories are ‘humming’.