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NAM Labor Day Report finds exports offset housing downturn.

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August 29, 2008 - According to NAM's 11th annual Labor Day report, export-led growth and free trade are continuing to hold economy above water. Report notes that U.S. exports have increased by 11% over past year and have added more to GDP growth since 2005 than residential investment has taken away. While domestically-oriented manufacturing industries have been hurt by housing-led domestic slowdown, export-intense manufacturing industries have seen production surge 17% since 4th quarter of 2005.

NAM Labor Day Report Finds Exports Offset Housing Downturn


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National Association Of Manufacturers (NAM)
1331 Pennsylvania Ave. N.W.
Washington, DC, 20004
USA



Press release date: August 28, 2008

Passage of Free Trade Agreements Will Stimulate Growth and Jobs

WASHINGTON, D.C., Aug. 28, 2008 - As Labor Day approaches, the one bright spot on the economic horizon for the American worker is U.S. export-led growth and free trade which are continuing to hold the economy above water, according to the 11th annual Labor Day report of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). The report notes that U.S. exports have increased by 11 percent over the past year and have added more to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) growth since 2005 than residential investment has taken away.

"The American worker is going though a difficult time this Labor Day due to rising energy prices that are cutting deep into their paychecks and the most severe housing sector decline in the post World War II era," said NAM President and CEO John Engler. "Amid these significant problems, the one bright spot on the economic landscape continues to be U.S. exports which have accounted for nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of America's economic growth over the past year.

"Export growth has been a shot in the arm for U.S. manufacturers, who account for more than 90 percent of total goods exports," he continued. "While domestically-oriented manufacturing industries have been hurt by the housing-led domestic slowdown, export-intense manufacturing industries have seen production surge 17 percent since the fourth quarter of 2005, and production employment grow by 119,000. With the domestic economy stuck in low gear, global engagement is the key to growth and job creation. "The trade balance with our free trade partners moved into surplus for manufactured goods during the first half of 2008," Engler said. "Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) enable U.S. manufacturers to more effectively compete in the global economy and are part of the solution -- not part of the problem -- for our country's trade imbalance.

"Due to America's increasing reliance on foreign sources of energy, petroleum imports alone now account for 69 percent of the entire U.S. trade deficit. Reducing our nation's dependence on foreign sources of energy will require a comprehensive national energy policy that promotes efficiency while increasing and diversifying our domestic energy supplies. Expanding supply and streamlining demand will together put downward pressure on energy prices that are eating into workers' paychecks and constraining consumer spending," Engler continued. "The best way for the Presidential candidates and our policymakers in Washington to help the American worker this Labor Day is to promote both engagement in the global economy and a robust, forward-looking national energy strategy," Engler concluded.

The NAM Labor Day report is available at www.nam.org/LaborDayReport.

CONTACTS:
LAURA NARVAIZ (202) 637-3104
DAVE HUETHER (202) 637-3148
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