MAPI reports that manufacturing declined at a 0.8% annual rate in the second quarter but notes that the slowdown is partly a correction for the 5.2% growth posted in the first quarter. Going forward, MAPI Chief Economist Daniel J. Meckstroth forecasts that the growth rate will increase by close to a percentage point each year in 2014 and 2015. "Consumer spending growth has remained remarkably stable because of surprisingly robust employment growth in the sluggish economy; the payroll tax increase is in the rear-view mirror, and spending will accelerate in 2014; and households have low debt burdens and their wealth position is rising," Meckstroth said.

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