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Old 02-12-2010, 08:03 AM   #1
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Default White House report: Auto, parts industries lost $107B over 4 years

It's been an ugly few years for automakers and parts producers. The White House on Thursday released a 400-page report on the U.S. economy, reporting that the auto sector fared far worse than any other manufacturing industry in recent years.

How bad? The auto and auto parts industry collectively lost at least $107.3 billion since 2006.

The report also noted that the auto industry shed 240,000 jobs between January 2008 and January 2009. But amid a rebound in sales over the last year, the auto and auto parts industry has added back 22,700 jobs, to a seasonally adjusted 674,200.

"The American automobile industry was hit particularly hard," the report noted.

Christina Romer, head of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the rescue of the automakers was one of the "greatest challenges" the administration faced in 2009.

That GM is committed to repaying its $6.7 billion government loans by June is an "amazing sign" she said.
The report shows the dramatic impact of Americans buying fewer cars had on consumer spending, which fell by more than $80 billion in two years.

Romer noted encouraging signs in 2010 auto sales. In fact, automakers have added shifts and jobs in recent weeks. At least 50 auto parts producers filed for bankruptcy last year as automakers slashed production. The government warned that parts makers could lose another 100,000 jobs over the next decade.

Partsmakers want the government to "to assure that there is a competitive domestic parts supply base," said Bob McKenna, head of the Motor & Equipment Manufacturers Association.

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