Manufacturing Barometer, 1Q 2011

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This paper is a quarterly survey of US-based senior executives from multinational manufacturing companies regarding their view of the US and global industrial manufacturing economies over the past quarter and their outlook for the next 12 months.
Highlights from this quarter’s report, which shows some uncertainty emerging about prospects over the next 12 months for the world economy, and, to a lesser extent, the US economy, include:

  • Optimism about the US economy dropped 6 points to 57 percent while optimism for the world economy backed off 16 points to 44 percent, replaced, for the most part, by more uncertainty.
  • Over the next 12 months, 51 percent of panelists plan to add employees to their workforces, up slightly from last quarter. Only 3 percent plan layoffs. The rest expect to remain the same.
  • Eighty-nine percent expect positive revenue growth for their own companies over the next 12 months.
  • Oil/energy prices, which surged during the first quarter, top the list of potential barriers to growth over the next 12 months.
  • Costs also spiked, with 51 percent reporting higher costs, up 25 points from the previous quarter. Just 8 percent reported lower costs.