Mar 7, 2023 - Economy

U.S. manufacturing growth outpaces the rest of the world

Difference between U.S. and global year-over-year manufacturing growth
Data: Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center; Chart: Madison Dong/Axios Visuals

American manufacturing growth started outpacing the rest of the world's growth at the end of last year — for the first time in recent memory.

The big picture: The reasons for the surprising flip-flop are primarily energy and COVID-related, according to the Atlantic Council GeoEconomics Center.

  • Production of renewable energy equipment saw a big uptick in the U.S. last year, and oil exports soared, too.
  • Also: Domestic production of medical equipment like masks, gloves and pharmaceuticals grew.

Meanwhile, China’s manufacturing growth was muted because of its zero-COVID policies, while the eurozone’s production has been impacted by higher energy prices.

  • “While the rest of the world grew a little, the US surged,” the Atlantic Council wrote.

Details: The chart shows the difference between the U.S. and the world's (excluding the U.S.) industrial production year-over-year percent change. The Atlantic Council calculations are based on data from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

What’s next: The Fed's rate-hiking campaign could still slow down manufacturing, as the WSJ reports.

  • But, but, but: One potential tailwind is the Inflation Reduction Act's massive incentives for clean energy production — which haven’t even kicked in yet.
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