The Shifting Economics of Global Manufacturing

Aug 20, 2014

Four Diverging Paths

A decade of volatile changes in exchange rates and labor and energy costs has resulted in striking shifts in relative manufacturing-cost structures among the top 25 export economies. Manufacturing competitiveness—once concentrated in a few regions—is now truly global. There has also been a dramatic reordering of cost competitiveness among specific countries around the world.

As we dug more deeply into these macroeconomic trends, we identified four common patterns that describe cost shifts occurring in the majority of the economies in our index. We grouped these economies into categories that we describe as under pressure,losing ground, holding steady, and rising global stars.

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