The battle for Michigan & Ohio
The US states of Michigan and Ohio are textbook examples of the country’s struggle to adapt to globalisation and rapid economic development of countries such as China and the BRICs. As jobs in manufacturing went abroad and people moved away from the area, construction activity declined and cement consumption followed. However, more recent figures are providing some hope looking forward. Rob Roy, ROI Economic Consulting, provides a market outlook.
With the US Presidential election only a few weeks away, the experts believe that who wins boils down to less than 10 of the 50 states. Michigan and Ohio are two of these so-called ‘battleground’ states. Michigan is the state where governor Romney grew up as his father went from CEO of Detroit-based American Motors Co to being the state’s governor. Yet, Romney is behind in the political polls in large part because he advocated in 2009 that the American car industry be allowed to go bankrupt. At the time, with credit availability non-existent, the practical result would have been the liquidation and extinction of US car manufacturing. President Obama, in contrast, spearheaded the government rescue of General Motors and Chrysler. Ford didn’t need direct assistance, but would have been debilitated by the massive loss of suppliers that bankruptcies of GM and Chrysler would have mandated. It is estimated that the auto rescue saved one million US jobs. It was one of Obama’s greatest successes in his first term and boosted his popularity in Michigan, Ohio, and other states with large car-related segments.