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JET AIRCRAFT MAY BE A WINNER IN 1990
BUT AUTOMAKERS, CONSTRUCTION FIRMS WON’T FARE AS WELL, GOVERNMENT SAYS

SHARE JET AIRCRAFT MAY BE A WINNER IN 1990
BUT AUTOMAKERS, CONSTRUCTION FIRMS WON’T FARE AS WELL, GOVERNMENT SAYS

The government, making its annual forecast of winners and losers in American business, says jet aircraft and other high-technology areas will be strong in 1990, but automakers and construction firms will not fare as well.

The Commerce Department assessed the prospects of 350 U.S. industries for its 31st edition of the "U.S. Industrial Outlook."On the industrial side, it predicted that three-fourths of the 193 manufacturing firms it reviewed should enjoy rising shipments next year while 18 percent will suffer declines and the rest will have stagnant shipments.

It predicted a median growth rate in manufacturing shipments of 2 percent next year, after removing the effects of inflation. That would compare with estimated growth of 2.2 percent this year and 2.5 percent in 1988.

The department predicted that service industries, especially those providing information and health care, would outperform the manufacturing sector.

Commerce Undersecretary J. Michael Farren, briefing reporters on the forecast Thursday, said the United States is evolving steadily into an "information economy."

"Industries involved in the collection, processing and communication of information are among the fastest growing," he said.

For 1990, the government projected the fastest growth in services would be in satellite communication and electronic information services, both forecast to enjoy revenue gains of 20 percent next year.

In manufacturing, the big winners in 1990 were expected to be the makers of surgical and medical instruments, with a projected 10 percent rise in shipments, followed by makers of surgical supplies, with shipments forecast to be up by 9 percent.

The biggest loser in manufacturing was forecast to be makers of household washers and dryers, where shipments were projected to decline by 5 percent, followed by glass makers, facing a forecasted 4.9 percent drop in shipments.

Overall, construction was expected to show no gains as a modest increase in housing construction will be offset by a decline in non-residential construction, reflecting expected declines in office and hotel construction, two sectors with high vacancy rates.

Another key sector likely to perform poorly next year is autos. Car sales were projected to drop another 1 percent to 9.9 million units in 1990 following a 5 percent fall in 1989.