Unwrapping a mixed manufacturing gift

The manufacturing revival in advanced economies will unfold in new, unexpected ways, with limited jobs growth but a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build fresh platforms.

After years of despair about the decline of manufacturing, policymakers in advanced economies now are talking about a rosier future. Wages have risen quickly in coastal China and other offshore locations, and have stagnated or fallen in advanced economies. Severe weather events, such as the Japanese tsunami and Bangkok floods, have exposed the fragility of global supply chains. And news that some US companies will build computers and washing machines once again in North America is offered as proof that the tide has turned.


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