Tags: fastest | shrinking | industries | US

24/7 Wall St.: Recordable Media Manufacturing Is Fastest Shrinking Industry

By    |   Tuesday, 23 December 2014 02:23 PM

While much of the financial world is focusing on the torrid 5 percent U.S. economic growth for the third quarter, Alexander Hess and Thomas Frohlich of 24/7 Wall St. have put together a ranking of the fastest shrinking U.S. industries.

Their rankings are based on IBISWorld data for annual revenue.

Topping the list is recordable media manufacturing, with revenue dropping an annualized 18.4 percent from 2009 to 2014. "The rise of digital media and online streaming services can explain the growth of many thriving U.S. industries. The trend can also explain the drop in demand for recordable media products such as discs and tapes," Hess and Frohlich write.

Computer manufacturing ranked as the second fastest shrinking industry. This U.S. industry has suffered both from competition overseas, where labor is generally cheaper, and declining global PC sales, as consumers shun computers for smartphones and tablets, the duo says.

Third is wind turbine installation. Revenue has shrunk an annualized 16.4 percent over the past five years. "One problem is that production ramped up prior to the expiration of a federal tax credit for wind production," Hess and Frohlich write.

"U.S. businesses are very different today than they were even as recently as 10 years ago. A number of manufacturing industries are no longer as dominant as they once were, with large portions of production moving overseas or the product simply becoming obsolete. Other traditionally strong industries have also changed dramatically as digital and online technologies have continued to proliferate."

Meanwhile, MarketWatch writers William Watts and Joseph Adinolfi have created a list of possible gray swan events — "occurrences that aren’t wholly unpredictable, but are insidiously laying in plain sight" — for 2015.
  • The Federal Reserve might move too quickly or too slowly to raise interest rates. Most economists expect the Fed to begin hiking around mid-2015. "If the Fed gets spooked and moves too soon, too fast it could derail the recovery and then force the Fed to do an about-face. At the other extreme, the Fed could prove too patient, potentially setting up a scenario in which policy makers have to hike rates aggressively to catch up with resurgent inflation," they write.
  • Oil prices could rebound sharply amid a supply disruption.
  • Cyber warfare, such as the recent attack against Sony, could intensify. "Events that could make the 2013 Target Corp. data breach look like child's play, could pose one of the most worrisome problems in coming years," Watts and Adinolfi maintain.
  • Liquidity could suddenly evaporate in financial markets, as market makers shun risk.
  • Emerging markets may face a currency crisis, as oil continues to fall and the Fed increases rates. Many emerging market currencies already have stumbled this year, with the ruble down 40 percent.

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While much of the financial world is focusing on the torrid 5 percent U.S. economic growth for the third quarter, Alexander Hess and Thomas Frohlich of 24/7 Wall St.
fastest, shrinking, industries, US
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2014-23-23
Tuesday, 23 December 2014 02:23 PM
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