In another sign of a strong recovery in America's manufacturing sector, the after-tax profits of U.S. manufacturing corporations reached a record-high $159.7 billion in the second quarter of 2011, according to data released today (pdf) by the Census Bureau. Adjusted for inflation, second quarter profits this year were 9.1% ahead of the previous quarter, and 40% ahead of a year earlier. Compared with the pre-recession profit level of $124.1 billion in the fourth quarter of 2007, manufacturing profits have increased by 28.7% and $35.6 billion.
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I think we can now safely say that the profitability of the U.S. manufacturing sector has made a complete and total V-shaped recovery from the effects of the U.S. recession and global slowdown, and is now well-prepared and situated for a new cycle of growth and expansion in output, sales, jobs, R&D, and capital investment. It's also more evidence that American manufacturing is at the forefront of the U.S. economic expansion.