Purchasing managers’ indices (PMI) are thought of as one of the best ways to track the health of an economy: they give a clear view of what is being bought and sold, and levels of confi dence among those at the cutting edge of the economy. The US Institute for Supply Management PMI currently stands at 52.9%. Any number over 50% indicates growth, so this is positive. But, the index has been falling since October 2014, when it reached 57.9%, just short of a 58% two-year high.

Looking at how busy factories are, helps us see whether owners will soon be looking to expand. Currently, US manufacturing capacity utilisation is only 78.6%, below the 85% mark generally taken as a sign that factory owners will invest in new equipment. Indeed, uitilisation is at virtually the same level as the then-low of 1990-91.

Where there is work domestically, the US crane industry will face intense competition from overseas rivals. US exports of overhead cranes, worth $79.44m, are still outstripped by imports of $81.21m, more than half of which, $46.31m, come from China. Of those US exports, around a quarter go to the country’s neighbours, Canada and Mexico.

But other countries around the world, like Brazil, Singapore and South Africa, as well as Western Europe, are also signifi cant. The country’s crane industry can not thrive if it looks only to local markets.

For nearly 20 years, Hoist has been at the forefront of the international overhead lifting sector. It has offered factory managers, crane builders, dealers and engineers, an insight into the products and services available. It has given manufacturers and suppliers a platform to showcase these innovations Our sister title, OCH, has offered a similar opportunity for companies in the US market, giving them in-depth coverage of their local market. From May, we will be increasing the frequency and depth of our North American coverage, by including it in the new and improved Hoist.

The new monthly, perfect-bound, title will focus on both the Americas and Europe, as well as bringing increased coverage of the rest of the world, ensuring that key geographies are given the focus and attention they deserve. It will analyse the sectors and markets that matter, and the opportunities these present your business. We will focus on the key technological advancements taking place in the sector. Hoist will take a look at some of the latest developments taking place across the supply chain. This is the start of an exciting new chapter for Hoist. Thank you for your ongoing support.

Tim Sheahan, Editor