Manufacturing Execs Optimistic

Senior management at U.S. manufacturing companies are significantly more optimistic about their own companies' growth than they were just last November, according to a Grant Thornton LLP survey in February. Nine of 10 managers (91%) report that they’re optimistic about their companies’ growth in the next six months, up from 81% in November.

As for the economy, 60% believe that the U.S. economy will improve in the next six months, up from 49% in November. However, those planning to increase hiring in the next six months saw a drop to 44% in February from 49% in November.

"We believe that the decrease in expected hiring despite an overall high level of optimism is because manufacturing executives feel some uncertainty about the future of manufacturing in the United States," said Wally Gruenes, Grant Thornton's national managing partner for Consumer and Industrial Products and a member of the board of directors of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). "They believe that the U.S. government has no plan to make American manufacturing more competitive in order to create more good-paying jobs. Rather than spending scarce resources on employees, manufacturing executives are spending on capital equipment purchases and technology to improve productivity and lower costs in an effort to be more competitive globally."

The survey was conducted Feb. 8-23, 2011, with 70 senior executives from U.S. manufacturing companies. To see all the survey findings, please visit www.GrantThornton.com/BOI.

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