Big Wheels Turning: The dollar's decline helps American manufacturers

The dollar's decline helps American manufacturers shift back into high gear

Just a few years ago, pundits were proclaiming the decline of American industry and heralding the conversion of the U.S. to a service economy. Overwhelmed by a tide of imports, U.S. manufacturing firms were accounting for a dwindling portion of the gross national product and generating a shrinking share of total employment. At the same time, service businesses ranging from fast-food outlets to financial conglomerates seemed to be where the action was. Soon, the seers said, Americans would all be flipping burgers, selling software or shining one another's Italian shoes.

But lo and behold: the Rust Bowl is resurgent. Thanks largely...

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