In its Quarterly Economic Forecast, the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI says the economy has decelerated to a slow growth mode, but manufacturing is expected to hold its own.
"Expenditures are rapidly growing for business equipment, as are exports," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI chief economist. "Manufacturing will grow faster than the general economy as it relies less on consumer spending while disproportionately benefiting from strong demand for business equipment, exports, and basic materials."
Non-high-tech industries should experience an increase in production by 5.1 percent this year and 4.3 percent in 2011, the report said. Meanwhile, high-tech manufacturing production is expected to grow at higher rates, with 14.5 percent growth in 2010 and 13 percent growth in 2011.
While the report expects overall unemployment to remain high, manufacturing should add 277,000 jobs this year, and 373,000 positions next year.
The report forecasts increases in exports and imports. Inflation-adjusted exports are expected to grow 12.5 percent in 2010, followed by an 8.1 percent gain in 2011. Imports should rise 11.8 percent in 2010 and 6.7 percent in 2011.
The forecast puts the price of imported crude oil at an average of $74.50 a barrel for 2010, and $78 a barrel in 2011. This compares to 2009's average of $59.40 per barrel.
Originally known as the Machinery and Allied Products Institute, MAPI was formed as a result of the Depression-era National Industrial Recovery Act to help stabilize the industry. The group still retains its original acronym and is devoted to serving manufacturers through a focused program of economic research and peer learning.