A recent study by a global business strategy consultant offers an upbeat prediction for beleaguered U.S. manufacturers.
"We expect net labor costs for manufacturing in China and the U.S. to converge by around 2015," said Harold L. Sirkin, senior partner at the Boston Consulting Group. "As a result of the changing economics, you're going to see a lot more products 'Made in the U.S.A.' in the next five years."
The conclusion rests on several factors: Chinese wages, which are rising about 17 percent each year; the inevitable rise in the value of China's currency, which will make Chinese exports more expensive; and higher inventory and shipping costs.
The scenario makes sense to Chris Kuehl, an economic analyst with the Fab