The United States' economy grew at a rate of 5 percent between July and September, the fastest pace in more than 10 years. According to the Commerce Department, that figure was up from the 3.9 percent that was originally estimated.
The overall increase is due to boosts in activity across many sectors. For example, consumer spending in the third quarter was up by 3.2 percent, while business investment grew at a staggering 7.2 percent. According to the Associated Press (AP), that figure is up 2.2 percent from estimates. Consumer spending highlights the free capital individuals have to use on goods and services, a metric that factors greatly into the supply chain of manufacturing.
The third quarter growth is a major benchmark for progress in economic recovery following the recession. The rate of growth is an 11-year high, hearkening back to the summer of 2003 for overall economic prosperity. Though economists say the official end to the recession happened in 2009, the subsequent five years have proven challenging for industries who needed to find their footing once again.
Positive job numbers also round out the narrative for 2014's respectable growth stats. Year over year, the AP reports that economists project a 2.5 percent increase, with expectations for 2015 hovering around 3 percent growth. The steady resuscitation has been evident in the manufacturing industry, where the need for workers significantly outpaces the number of skilled laborers available to fill positions.
With a renewed commitment to training and recruitment efforts, machine shops and large manufacturing operations alike head into the new year with favorable economic conditions to compete globally and begin a new chapter of advanced manufacturing. From workforce to consumer demand, variables are aligning to foster more growth in 2015.