Manufacturing, economic health on upswing
Tuesday, May 01, 2012
PricewaterhouseCoopers recently released its latest report on the economy and the manufacturing industry, which found optimism surrounding both.
Data analysis from PwC's 2012 Manufacturing Barometer for the first quarter this year finds industrial manufacturers across the country project further global economic growth this year with more than 90 percent of respondents forecasting this growth and more companies saying they plan to hire and expect increased capital spending.
"Optimism regarding the U.S. economy among U.S. industrial manufacturers improved markedly during the first quarter of 2012, while views of the worldwide economy remain guarded, improving only modestly due to continued high levels of uncertainty," said Barry Misthal, global industrial manufacturing leader for PwC. "The positive gains in sentiment, primarily in the U.S., have been buttressed by higher forecasts for own-company revenue in 2012, as well as perceived decreases in barriers to growth. Moreover, margins remained positive, aiding confidence levels and supporting plans for hiring and investment."
For the first quarter of 2012, 68 percent of industrial manufacturers surveyed in the United States said they believed the economy was improving, which was up 40 points from the 28 percent reported in the fourth quarter of last year. In addition, none of the respondents said they thought the economy was declining, and 32 percent saw no change on a quarter-over-quarter basis.
"Following a prolonged period of streamlining and cost-cutting during the economic downturn, there is no question that companies have achieved efficiency gains, while balance sheets improved measurably," Misthal added. "Hence, management teams are increasingly focusing on strengthening their product offerings and competitive positioning, as well as evaluating global expansion strategies through both mergers and acquisitions and new facilities building."
The Chinese manufacturing industry also experienced gains as of late, which has a positive impact on the global economy and the U.S. stock market as well.
Investors who want to use their knowledge on the manufacturing industries to their advantage can take part in online stock trading.
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