Reindustrialisation process under way in the U.S.
The reindustrialisation of the U.S. is evident from the upswing in productive investment and manufacturing employment as well as from the upturn in manufacturing output, which has outpaced the euro zone since the crisis. Yet – for the time being – U.S. reindustrialisation has mainly affected the automotive and capital goods sectors.
Growth of U.S. industry can be ascribed to three factors:
- rapidly increasing profitability of industrial companies in the U.S.;
- labour costs in industry, which are lower in the U.S. than in Germany or France;
- and the low cost of energy thanks to the fall in the price of natural gas, due to shale gas production.
The United States is regaining export market share
The U.S. situation in terms of export market share has been improving since the end of 2008. It appears that the U.S. has increased its market share in global exports largely at the expense of the euro zone and Central European countries (CEEC). Since end-2008, the U.S. trade deficit with the euro zone, Asian emerging countries excluding China, other American countries and Japan has been shrinking, though its trade deficit with China has stopped deteriorating. But in terms of export market share, U.S. improvement seems to match the deterioration in Europe.
An additional problem for the euro zone
The euro zone is already faced with a decline in domestic demand as a result of the restrictive fiscal policies, a decline in real wages due to the rise in unemployment and a loss in market share to emerging countries.
So – any further losses in export market share to the U.S. will therefore come on top of these problems. A depreciation of the euro could obviously correct the euro zone’s loss of competitiveness (in terms of wages and the price of energy). However, even during periods when the euro-zone crisis is acute, the euro still remains overvalued against the dollar