Manufactured Lean in the USA
The Revolution Blog

Read this if you’re in the material handling industry

Saturday, Nov 24, 2018

We heard a lot of great speakers at this year’s Material Handling Industry’s (MHI) annual conference in October. Among them, keynote speaker Jason Schenker shared his economic forecasts for the material handling, logistics and supply chain sectors. Schenker, who is the President of Prestige Economics and Chairman of The Futurist Institute, has been ranked by Bloomberg News as the #1 forecaster in the world in 25 different categories since 2011. Here are some of the key takeaways from Schenker’s presentation:


  • Corporate tax cuts and a number of growth tailwinds have been positive in 2018
  • E-commerce material handling activities are likely to remain strong, regardless of the economy
  • Trade risks (e.g. China) present downside risks to both U.S. and global growth, as well as the overall material handling outlook for 2019 and 2020
  • The economic growth outlook for 2019 and 2020 is not as strong as 2017 and 2018. However the global economy is expanding, and growth is expected to remain solid through 2019. The U.S. economy has been expanding, with leading indicators and confidence at strong levels
  • Higher interest rates and rising labor costs present downside risks to corporate profits and economic growth
  • Both auto and housing sales have slowed and should be watched closely
  • While this by no means implicates a Great Recession on the horizon, slower growth ahead appears likely

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