When I saw the words manufacturing and boom in one headline, I had to do a double take. An AllianceBernstein economist was especially optimistic, predicting that manufacturing may be gearing up for the biggest turnaround seen in 25 years.
"The evidence points to a 20 percent jump in output in the fourth quarter, as there finally has been an end to the inventory reduction process that has gripped the industry for most of the past two years," said Chris Kuehl, economist for the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association, in a Monday e-newsletter. "The key point for Alliance is that new order growth is far outstripping the current inventory levels, and that is a recipe for growth under most circumstances. If this trend holds, the economy is in for some solid numbers in the months ahead."