Mary Scianna Click image to enlargeAs 2017 comes to a close and 2018 looms before us,

it’s inevitable that many in the manufacturing industry begin to consider what the future holds for their businesses.

Will Western Canada’s oil industry continue to rebound? Will a renegotiated NAFTA be good for Canadian manufacturers? Will Canada’s automotive and aerospace industries continue to surge?

Predicting the future is like betting on horses. You have the stats that indicate the likelihood of a win, but there’s no guarantee of that win. Having said that, stats are indicators of change. And if we consider some economic indicators from the first half of 2017, all point to modest, but steady growth in 2018.

  • In March, OECD raised the economic growth outlook for Canada to 2.4 per cent in 2017
  • In June, RBC’s senior vice president and chief economist Craig Wright said “Canada’s economy is on track to post its strongest gain in three years” commenting on an RBC Economic Outlook quarterly report, which noted that GDP would growth 2.6 per cent in 2017 and 2.1 per cent in 2018
  • July and August saw consecutive growth in manufacturing according to the Markit Canada Manufacturing Purchasing Managers index (PMI), which rose to 55.5 in July and 54.6 in August. A reading above 50 shows growth in the sector
  • In September, the OECD’s Economic Outlook and Interim Economic Outlook report noted Canada would lead economic growth among the G7 countries. So while we may not want to bet the farm on growth, we can hedge our bet that Canada’s manufacturing industry will have a positive year of growth.

2018 will also mark change for Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine. As we enter our seventh year of publishing, we’re expanding to ensure we can continue to bring readers relevant, informative and engaging content that has become a hallmark of this publication. Greg Paliouras, an experienced business-to-business manufacturing magazine publisher, has joined the Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine team as the new publisher and joins me and Larry Bonikowsky, who will continue as senior director, content & market development.

2018 will no doubt hold its challenges for manufacturing, but as our business outlook report in this issue notes, manufacturers are gearing up for growth with many making plans to hire people, purchase more equipment and expand operations.

On behalf of the Shop Metalworking Technology team, we wish you the best for a safe and happy holiday and a rewarding new year. SMT

Mary Scianna, Editorial Director, Shop Metalworking Technology Magazine.

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