Montana improved its grades in manufacturing, and productivity and innovation, but the state is still below average, says a new report from Ball State University. 

The 2017 Manufacturing and Logistics Report Card, prepared by Ball State’s Center for Business and Economic Research (CBER) for Conexus Indiana, the state’s advanced manufacturing initiative, shows how each state ranks among its peers in several areas of the economy that underlie the success of manufacturing and logistics. The report is now in its 10th year.

 Montana improved its grades in manufacturing (“F” to “D-”) and productivity and innovation (“F” to “D”). The grades decreased in human capital (“B-” to “C+”), benefits costs (“C” to “C-”), global position (“D+” to “D”).

 CBER director Michael Hicks, the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics and Business Research, also explains why U.S. manufacturing and logistics industries experienced dramatic growth over the past generation with his report, Manufacturing and Logistics: A Generation of Volatility & Growth.

The study found that U.S. manufacturing production grew 11 percent since the dot.com bust (2000-03) and the ensuing economic turbulence of the 2001 and 2007-09 recessions.

“According to folklore, this has been a terrible generation for manufacturing and those who move goods,” Hicks said. “That isn’t really what the data says. Indeed, 2015 was a record manufacturing production year in inflation-adjusted dollars. While 2016 fell just short with some weakness in the first and second quarter, 2017 looks to be a new record year.”