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Global economy: grease is the word

Is manufacturing leading to global recovery? Here's the dirty truth.

That's because as demand picks up around the world — and it clearly is improving — the companies that make stuff tend to hire more people.

In fact, we saw this in Friday's U.S. jobs report for March. Some 17,000 manufacturing jobs were added to the economy last month. So far this year manufacturing has produced 45,000 jobs in the U.S.

For recovery to take root — here and around the world — people need to work. The logic chain is pretty simple: no jobs, no spending. No spending, no economic growth.

Of course, manufacturing is no magic bullet. Plenty of risks still face the global economy, from inflation worries (manufacturing costs have been rising along with demand), to currency valuation fights (hello, Chinese yuan), to continued weakness in real estate and beyond. Moreover, these gains in manufacturing first began last June. There is no guarantee they will continue.

But thanks to dull and dirty manufacturing, the world is now in a much happier place than just a few short months ago.

And you don't need an iPad to understand that.