Tuesday, July 21, 2009

National Manufacturing Survey Finds Economic Optomism (madison.com)

A new national survey of manufacturing executives found that most believe the U.S. economy would improve over the next six months, even as nearly half expected their own firms’ performance to decline.

Overall, the survey found medium and large manufacturers were much more optimistic than small ones, which disproportionately made up the 12 percent of survey respondents who said their firm was in danger of failing. A majority of all executives cited customer demand as the top challenge to growth, followed by access to credit over the next 12 months.

In other results:

• Seventy percent of manufacturers said they planned to maintain staffing levels.

• A majority expected to cut costs over the next 12 months, including operational (80 percent), supplier (65 percent) and labor (51 percent), while 66 percent planned to look for tax advantages and 65 percent planned to increase the diversity of their product or customer base.

• Despite cost pressures, many were still investing in their companies, including 51 percent for quality improvement systems, 48 percent for research and development and 40 percent for capital improvements. Only 36 percent and 31 percent were investing in skills training and green programs, respectively.

The June telephone survey of 300 executives by KRC Research for accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause also found that views reported by Midwest executives aligned closely with national results. The survey had a margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.

For additional information on the survey or to request the full report, click here.

To see the full original article at madison.com, click here.

No comments: