If the mold-making industry is a harbinger of the economy, the Federal Reserve should definitely forget about any thoughts of raising interest rates this year.
U.S. mold makers are feeling the pinch this summer. Everyone seems to have a different explanation — foreign competition, the weakness of the yen and the GM strike are among the most likely culprits.
Many mold shops interviewed recently by Plastics News reporter Joseph Pryweller said they've seen business drop more than 20 percent this year.
The National Tooling & Machining Association predicts the U.S. tooling market could be down as much as 10 percent next year after turning in flat sales in 1998.
Could this be an early warning sign of a meltdown in the U.S. economy? If so, then let's hope Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan is paying attention.