Will 2011 be a good year for American industry?

For most sectors, 2010 was a comeback year, as companies finally began adjusting to an economic environment that constantly seemed at risk of double-dipping back into recession. Now that those fears have transformed into mild concerns over slower-than-expected growth, 2011 will present an opportunity for many industries to rejuvenate themselves -- and several are on track to do just that.

Independent researcher IBISWorld ranked 711 U.S.-based industries on their ability to increase revenue, industry gross products, employment, productivity improvements and profitability to make its predictions of the 10 top performing industries for 2011. Here's the list it came up with:

1. Iron Ore Mining: This industry will build on the success that the iron and steel manufacturing sector experienced in 2010. IBISworld reports that the sector expanded by 22% in 2010, which is expected to fuel demand for iron ore next year as infrastructure projects and building pick up. Growing demand will mean higher revenues and profitability for companies in this industry.

As an added benefit, "The industry is expected to undergo the greatest employment growth among all 711 industries, which is a positive sign for the U.S. economy," notes IBISworld senior industry analyst Toon van Beeck, who authored its Industry of the Year report.

2. Investment Banking and Securities Dealing:
These segments of the financial services industry are due for a revival as better conditions for trading and dealmaking develop next year. Look for investment banks to boost revenue and profitability through increased IPOs, mergers and acquisitions, and proprietary trading. Increased regulations could be the one stumbling block for the industry.

3. Multifamily Homebuilding: After revenue tumbled from $40 billion in 2006 to just $19 billion in 2010, this industry is projected to finally see growth again in 2011. Rental income will be the key to the industry's revival as an economic recovery is expected to increase demand for properties that have rentable apartments. "The cyclical recovery of the real estate market, including improvements in property values, rental rates and transaction volumes, will support this industry," says van Beeck.

4. Molybdenum and Other Metal Ore Mining: As the global economy begins to improve, demand for molybdenum and other metal ores is increasing. Molybdenum is used in many high-strength steel alloys and in other high-temperature and high-pressure applications. Rising demand for metals used in all types of manufacturing is expected to push up prices in 2011, significantly boosting the industry's revenue and profitability.

5. Environmental Consulting: This is one of the "green" industries that's showing promise. Demand for services such as soil-, water- and air-quality management, sustainability studies and consulting, noise pollution, compliance and auditing is rising as companies worldwide focus on environmental sustainability. Additionally, governmental efforts to slow climate change and reduce carbon emissions will have businesses across all industries seeking help to stay ahead of regulators in 2011.

6. Aluminum Manufacturing: Increased economic activity will lead to increased demand for aluminum, which is used in a multitude of products. IBISWorld says many aluminum manufacturers are expected to increase their smelter capacity next year after significant shutdowns in 2008 and 2009. Although production and output won't reach prerecession levels, added revenue growth for companies like Alcoa, Novelis and Century Aluminum will be welcome.

7. Car and Automobile Manufacturing – The restoration of General Motors to health and the renaissance of Ford have this industry in position to take off in 2011. The four largest U.S. auto retailers just reported their best quarterly revenues in two years, which bodes well for the manufacturing and retailing automotive sectors.

8. New-Car Dealers
: This industry will build off its October auto sales numbers, which grew at the fastest pace in 14 months. As the economy improves, consumers should return to the market, and they'll be able to afford new vehicles without the help of "cash for clunkers" type promotions.

9. Domestic Airlines: Improving consumer and business confidence should lead to growth in the airline industry. Higher levels of tourism encouraged by a weak U.S. dollar, increasing airfares and greater passenger traffic as the economy picks up will all lead to higher revenues for air carriers.

10. Financial Planning and Advice. After a surviving a recession, then dealing with a recovery in which stock markets are more volatile than ever, investors are turning back to financial experts for advice. IBIS expects revenues in this field to grow nicely in 2011.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

Income Investing

Grow your nest-egg.

View Course »

Reading a Stock Quote

Learn to read the ingredients of a stock.

View Course »

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum


Filter by:

Though I feel the global economy still has a while before it can fully rebuild, I believe 2012 will see growth in certain sectors. One thing that surprised me was that ‘multifamily homebuilding’ was ranked as number two on the list; whereas the aged and community care sectors where left off entirely. As the baby-boomer population is entering the stages of retirement their disproportionally large numbers are set to strain the economy in the next decade or two. Australian statistics show the aged care force needs to triple to be sufficient to support the older generations meaning a huge boom to the sector is due…

June 25 2012 at 11:23 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply


December 21 2010 at 8:21 AM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply

Gotta run, Wahoo; thank you for a great conversation and please don't tell anybody that we were actually 'civil' and had a good chat about fishing (I enjoyed learning a little bit about ocean fishing from you)....The 'good ole boys' would not appreciate pleasant exchanges of ideas......it would ruin my reputation if they knew! LOL!

December 20 2010 at 7:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to gardeningatnite's comment

LOl ,,,,Garden Who?

December 20 2010 at 7:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

President Obama has failed the 'Great Lakes' future.......big time!

December 20 2010 at 7:33 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
7 replies to gardeningatnite's comment

Garden ,you have never Ocean fished ? .....If you did you would only fresh water fish if you are really bored. Yo don't know what you're missing.

December 20 2010 at 7:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to wahoofishing2's comment

In the western North Atlantic this species has long been important in the recreational fishery and now is a primary target of the directed commercial fishery along the southeast coast from South Carolina to Florida and throughout the Gulf of Mexico............wonder about the effects of the warming waters?

December 20 2010 at 7:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to gardeningatnite's comment

Back to your fishing.....what was the fish you were talking about the other day?

December 20 2010 at 6:56 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
8 replies to gardeningatnite's comment

Totally amazing the line-up of the non-suppoters of HB 510.......Freedomworks,
Competitive Enterprise Institute,
American Mushroom Institute,
National Potato Council,
National Watermelon Association,
Produce Marketing Association,
United Fresh Produce Association,
The John Birch Society,
National Cattleman's Beef Association,
Western Growers,
American Academy of Microbiology,
Farm-to-Consumer Legal Defense Fund

December 20 2010 at 6:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
9 replies to gardeningatnite's comment

My Father told me once : "Don't believe anything you hear and only half of what you see." To this day his theory has been correct to the T.

December 20 2010 at 6:36 PM Report abuse +2 rate up rate down Reply
4 replies to wahoofishing2's comment
Hi Nilda

Capping our industrial growth over global warming is insane. Global warming would be a good thing: Longer growing seasons means more food; Less fuel needed to heat; More shoreline for recreation; More fresh water for plant growth and humans; More sunbelt areas for habitation; Enhanched realty values because of favorable climate; More irrigation for arrid areas; Less travel to escape cold; Less dependence on foreign oil for heating; Etc. Global warming must be good or the Demicommies would not be trying to stop it

December 20 2010 at 6:09 PM Report abuse +4 rate up rate down Reply
10 replies to Hi Nilda's comment