US reshoring will hit EU manufacturers but UK factories will be safe

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The Reshoring of manufacturing to the US will hit European factories, but Britain will be unscathed, a leading US economist has said.

Speaking during a visit to Yorkshire, Rick Mattoon, senior economist at the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank said UK manufacturing is in a healthy position and is doing well in comparison to its European partners.

President Obama has overseen a resurgence in manufacturing powered by the availability of cheap natural gas.

President Obama has overseen a resurgence in manufacturing powered by the availability of cheap natural gas.

Mr Mattoon delivered a talk on the future of manufacturing and how the Leeds City Region could learn lessons from the Midwest.

He said: “The UK has already done some of the policy things that is making manufacturing more competitive. When you look at the industry structure that’s here, plus the investment in manufacturing, it’s already in the region.

“The other advantage is that also the UK is probably the healthiest economy at this point within the region [Europe]. So it is able to support manufacturers better over this particular economic cycle, a lot of Europe isn’t in a position to do that.”

But while it looks like manufacturing is on the up across the Atlantic, Mr Mattoon warned that a lot of the evidence to suggest this was anecdotal.

Under President Obama, the US has seen a resurgence in manufacturing fuelled by the availability of cheap natural gas.

Professor Sir Mike Gregory also spoke at the event organised by Leeds and Partners.

Although he reaffirmed the need for skilled workers he warned that “the renaissance in manufacturing isn’t going to involve a large number of jobs”.

Meanwhile, the CBI said that the recovery in the sector continued to lose momentum as weak export orders reflect sluggish demand in the eurozone.

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