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Region's Marketing Group Predicts Strong Future For NE Ohio Manufacturing

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The group that promotes business expansion in Northeast Ohio reports the region's economic recovery slowed in the last quarter of 2012. But, Team NEO says, the long term outlook for manufacturing in the region looks strong. Ideastream's Bill Rice has more.

Monday, February 18, 2013 at 6:00 am

Team NEO President Tom Waltermire says Northeast Ohio, like the US overall, saw a marked 4th quarter slowdown in economic growth. According to the group's quarterly assessment of the region's economy, it grew just 1/2 of one percent from October through December.

Waltermire 2: We continued to see gains in... year over year gains in manufacturing, a little bit in construction, and those continued to lead the way.

Waltermire says there were a number of factors that likely contributed to the slowdown - concern over the election, a faltering global economy, and uncertainty over the fiscal cliff.

He says the trend also extended to the growing oil and gas drilling industry. While the permitting of new wells continued to steam along, only 20 new wells were actually started during the period, compared to 40 in each of the two previous quarter.

Waltermire 1: which may be a temporary thing, and obviously with the high degree of permits being applied for, or being awarded, future drilling still looks very robust.

In addition to current economic conditions, Team NEO, citing figures from Moody's, expects a healthy expansion of manufacturing in the region over the current decade - more than in the nation overall.

Moody's predicts 40 percent growth in manufacturing in Northeast Ohio, versus just 34 percent nationwide. Waltermire says manufacturing here has found a foothold in the 21st century economy, where it had faltered and declined.

Waltermire 3: We've been through a lot. There's been a lot of change, there's been a lot of turmoil over the last 20 or 30 years. And the base we have now is much more competitive, more efficient, more innovative, mor globally driven, more export driven... and that's showing up in these estimates.

Team NEO compiles these quarterly reports as part of its effort to attract new companies to the region and help existing ones to expand. It's the regional arm of Governor Kasich's private, non-profit business development group JobsOhio.