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Toledo Tops the 2021 Metro Sustainability Rankings

This report is a summary of third-party economic research and perspectives to foster communication with business and economic development stakeholders during the COVID-19 crisis.

Mon Aug 09 2021

Key Economic Insights

  • Global: Pandemic restrictions and low vaccine rollouts restrain manufacturing and exports from Asia.
  • U.S.: The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to 5.4% in July. President Biden announced a new national target for electric vehicles to make up half of all new vehicle sales by 2030
  • Ohio: Ohio ranks #7 in Site Selection’s State Sustainability Rankings, Toledo ranks #1 in metro rankings.

Global Insights

30% of the world population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 15.4% is fully vaccinated.  The eurozone economy grew at an annualized rate of 8.3% in Q2, outpacing the larger U.S. economy.  Eurozone manufacturing PMI fell from 63.4 to 62.8 in July, the lowest level since March.  Factories continue to face increases in input costs and lengthening of delivery times.  German inflation rose to 3.1% in July, its highest level since August 2008.  Global sales of semiconductors totaled a record-setting $44.5B in June, and have increased by 29.2% since June 2020.  Seventeen auto factories in North America and Europe have halted or reduced production in recent weeks over the scarcity of supply components.

Asian countries continue to face new pandemic restrictions due to rising COVID-19 cases and low vaccine rollouts, restraining manufacturing and exports.  China manufacturing indices fell to their lowest levels in over a year. A subindex of PMI tracking new export orders fell to 47.7 in July, the lowest level since June 2020. Malaysia has required factories in nonessential sectors to close after a series of COVID outbreaks were linked to workplaces.  Indonesia and Vietnam industrial zones were recently ordered to operate at limited capacity to prevent the spread of COVID.  Thailand’s finance ministry cut the country’s 2021 growth forecast to 1.3%.

U.S. Insights

Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 943,000 in July, and the unemployment rate declined by 0.5% to 5.4%.  New weekly jobless claims were 385,000 for the week ended July 31.  Continuing claims came in at 2.93M vs. 3.26M expected.  Household debt rose $313B to nearly $15T in Q2, the sharpest rise since the same period in 2007.  The ISM Services Index increased from 60.1% in June to 64.1% in July, the highest reading on record and beating consensus expectations.  Personal and business bankruptcy filings fell 32.2% for the 12-month period ended in June, the lowest in a 12-month period since 1985.  The Biden Administration announced a new national target for electric vehicles to make up 40% to 50% of all new vehicle sales by 2030, manufacturers request more public charging infrastructure investment to spur demand.

58.2% of the U.S. population has received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, and 49.7% is fully vaccinated.  Several retailers and restaurants reinstated requirements for workers to wear masks in many of their stores, restaurants, and offices regardless of vaccination status in response to new federal health guidelines and rising U.S. Covid-19 cases. Major U.S. automakers also reinstated mask mandates at facilities due to delta variant.  Meatpacker Tyson Foods announced that it will require its 120,000 U.S. employees to be vaccinated fully this year and will pay them a $200 bonus to do so.

U.S. construction spending rose 0.1% in June, after falling in May. Spending on private construction projects climbed 0.4%, with outlays on residential projects increasing 1.1%. Business spending on non-residential structures fell in the second quarter led by declines in commercial and healthcare structures. Spending on public construction projects dropped 1.2%, after declining 0.8% in May.  U.S. factory orders increased 1.5% in June. Core capital goods orders rose 0.7%, slightly better than the 0.6% gain in May. Inventories rose 1% between May and June.  The U.S. trade deficit widened to a record in June. The foreign trade gap in goods and services expanded 6.7% from May to a seasonally adjusted $75.7B. Imports climbed 2.1% to $283.4B, a new monthly record. Exports increased 0.6% to $207.7B.

Ohio Employment & Economic Insights

50% of Ohioans have received at least one COVID-19 vaccination according to data reported to the Ohio Department of Health, with 46.5% being fully vaccinated.  Ohioans filed 10,740 unemployment claims for the week ending July 31, a slight increase from the last weeks 10,603 according to The Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.  Ohio ranks #7 in Site Selection’s State Sustainability Rankings, and Toledo ranks #1 in metro rankings largely due to First Solar’s facilities in Northwest Ohio that produce thin film PV module for the utility-scale solar markets in the U.S.

Southwest Ohio airports received over $8M in federal grant funding.  The City of Dayton will receive in $7.9M grants for Dayton International Airport.  Central Ohio received grants totaling $41M as part of the US Small Business Administration’s Shuttered Venue Operators Grants.  Miami University ranks No. 2 in the nation based on students’ technical skills in Code Signal’s first annual ranking of universities.

Positive Company-Specific News

  • CHAMPS Group Purchasing finalized agreements to purchase PPE from Ohio-based manufacturers, in collaborative efforts with JobsOhio.
  • Parker-Hannifin has agreed to buy Meggitt for $8.8B; nearly doubling the size of their aerospace systems unit.
  • Myers Industries acquired Trilogy Plastics to further expand and strengthen their rotational molding platform.
  • TriMas Corp is more than quadrupling its plant space in New Albany to boost production of its Rieke-brand soap dispensing pumps and other products primarily for the personal-care market.
  • RPM International announced that its Tremco Construction Products Group acquired Pure Air Control Services, a provider of indoor air quality solutions.
  • Canfield-based Farmers National Bank was named the top-performing bank in Ohio and 17th in the U.S. by Bank Director Magazine.
  • AES Ohio is working with Google’s research arm to “virtualize” its electric power distribution grid to simulate and model how to improve reliability, while relying further on clean energy resources.
  • Cedar Fair Entertainment plans to add esports to its lineup of roller coasters and water parks, planning to build a $28M 1,500-seat esports arena in Sandusky.
  • QQE Summit, a high-tech manufacturing company that serves the semiconductor, solar, fiber optic and lighting industries, will invest $25M and create 25 new jobs and retain 94 existing positions with an average salary of $42,500 over the next three years.
  • The Port of Greater Cincinnati Development Authority is partnering with Neyer Properties to redevelop the 25-acre former Dow Chemical plant site for future manufacturing tenants.

Negative Company-Specific News

  • Abbott Laboratories will pay $160M to resolve claims that two of its units submitted false claims to Medicare by providing kickbacks to diabetes patients.
  • ExpressJet Airlines intends to lay off 95 employees at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport.


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