MANUFACTURING: Factories expect to see more growth in 2014

Times Board of Economists - Report from Roy Berlin, president of Berlin Metals
2014-02-02T00:00:00Z 2014-02-02T00:05:53Z MANUFACTURING: Factories expect to see more growth in 2014Joseph S. Pete, (219) 933-3316
February 02, 2014 12:00 am  • 

Manufacturing has been doing fairly well, and should see continued strength going into 2014, Berlin Metals president Roy Berlin said.

Auto sales rose 7.5 percent to about 15.6 million nationally in 2013, and that helped the local steel industry. Commercial construction started to recover, but soft spots persisted, particularly in mining and agriculture.

"Most of our customers are not forecasting it will go gangbusters, but we can expect it will be a few percentage points better than last year, just as last year was a little better than 2012," he said.

Harsh weather however has impacted the trade of steel products. Several shipping days have been lost in January because of the subzero temperatures, heavy snow and arctic conditions. Trucks have gotten stuck, and have not been able to pick up shipments or make deliveries.

"It has a daisy chain effect," he said.



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