We just read an article quoting GE’s CEO Jeff Immelt, who said on Friday, 26 June, that the United States needs to refocus its economy on manufacturing and exporting if it wishes to recover from a brutal recession. He went on to say “The world’s largest economy can no longer count on consumer spending to drive demand, nor can it rely on Wall Street financial wizardry if it wants its population to continue to enjoy a high standard of living. Our competitive edge has slipped away and this has hit the middle class hard.” He goes on to state that “manufacturing should represent about 20 percent of employment.” Which is about 10 percent now. Immelt agrees with what has been obvious to many of us in the CAD industry for years – that many U.S. companies have turned too many core technological procedures over to outside contractors and foreign operations.
The United States needs to increase its reliance on manufacturing and reduce its reliance on financial services and consumer spending to drive economic growth. GE shares have lost 58 percent of their value over the past year, largely the result of falling profit at its GE Capital finance unit [thus too heavy a reliance on its financial sector].