Despite the hype that the reshoring of manufacturing production is on the rise, the numbers show otherwise. That's the conclusion of the 2014 A.T. Kearney Reshoring Index, the first in a series of studies looking objectively at the rate and pace of the return of manufacturing operations to the U.S.
The A.T. Kearney Reshoring Index measures the change in ratio between U.S. manufacturing imports and gross output over time. As source material, it uses the aggregation of a decade of watching shifts in reshoring and understanding the reasons behind it, using primary data from a proprietary survey administered to senior executives of global corporations as well as reshoring information reported in the media. Respondents include C-level executives and regional and business heads, across all industry sectors.
The index depicts flows of capital, not shifts in physical assets or employment levels. It represents the choice that U.S. executives make between domestic production and offshore production to meet domestic and U.S. demand. It is intended to normalize changes in market demand: an increase in U.S. manufacturing does not equal an increase in reshoring. Manufactured goods flows are tracked over a 10-year period to show the change in ratio between U.S. manufacturing imports and gross output during that time period. The index is actually expected to show a year-over-year decline, lower by 20 basis points from 2013, as offshoring to foreign manufacturing markets outpaces reshoring.