Last updateThu, 27 Oct 2016 2pm


Trends & Forecasts

New Valve Business Realities Highlighted At Annual Meeting

In 2016, there is no “business as usual”, and speakers at VMA’s Annual Meeting offered sound advice to navigate the new reality of 21st century commerce.

The digital landscape is having a huge impact on business, with mobile apps and social media creating a labyrinth for manufacturers and distributors. In the midst of this digital revolution comes the shale revolution, a high U.S. dollar and falling oil prices. While these changes may offer challenges, they are also creating opportunities for those who are willing to embrace them and create a new model for successful business.

Global Economic Outlook 2017

While there are obvious differences from country to country, one could reasonably generalize by saying that what we have today is a combination of low growth, low inflation, increasingly ineffective economic policies, and increasingly destructive politics. Global growth has been stuck below its long-term average for five years; 2017 may be the sixth (Figure 1).

What’s in Store for the Construction Market?

As was the case with many of the presenters at VMA’s Market Outlook Workshop held in August 2016, Randy Giggard of FMI Consulting noted that availability of labor at all levels is a major concern in the construction business.

The Nation’s Confidence in the Economy Looks Brighter

One major change in the economic picture that’s occurred since the beginning of this year is that “we’re starting to see improvement in terms of sentiment,” according to Chad Moutray, chief economist for the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). He gave a third-quarter update via webcast July 21.

“When I meet with manufacturing leaders around the country, I’m often asked: have we hit rock bottom? Are we now moving in the right direction? Some of our most recent numbers indicate that’s the case,” he said.

Moutray went on to give a cautionary, but mostly positive outlook, citing a number of sources.


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