“The real measure of the economy is manufacturing production, and that soared for the second consecutive month,” Mr. Naroff said. “The recovery is picking up steam and most industries, especially the vehicle sector, are benefiting.”
Mr. Obama reminded his audience of his support for bailing out the auto industry, and took a veiled dig at Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who opposed the bailout.
“I took office at a time when the American auto industry was on the verge of collapse,” Mr. Obama said. “Some even said we should let it die. With a million jobs at stake, I refused to let that happen.”
U.S. manufacturers lost 5.8 million jobs from 1999 to 2009 as many companies shifted jobs overseas or automated their plants. But the sector added 237,000 jobs in 2011 and another 50,000 in January, prompting the president to claim the economy is making a comeback.
Mr. Obama is traveling to the West Coast on Wednesday night to begin a series of eight campaign fundraisers.
Among the events that the president will attend are an event at the Los Angeles home of soap-opera producer Bradley Bell, featuring a performance by the rock band Foo Fighters; and a dinner co-hosted by actor Will Ferrell.