As the American economy bounces back from the downturn, one sector in particular is undergoing a renaissance: advanced manufacturing. The production of high tech goods using innovative design is booming across the country, as a slew of recent statistics illustrate. In May alone, orders for durable goods rose 3.6 percent to $231 billion, exceeding most analysts’ predictions. Meanwhile, orders for new transportation equipment rose 10.2 percent to $6.9 billion, while orders for commercial aircraft increased a whopping 51 percent to $6.3 billion.
Much of this upsurge involved defense spending—but even non-defense, non-aircraft capital goods rose 1.1 percent in May, following a 1.2 percent rise in April. The comeback in manufacturing isn’t isolated to one sphere; it’s a country-wide surge, driven largely by American businesses’ desire to make low-cost, high-quality goods using flexible, efficient production. The new era of manufacturing isn’t ahead of us. As May’s leap forward proves, it’s already begun.