According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' (New York) latest Manufacturing Barometer, nearly half of the industrial manufacturers are uncertain about the prospects of the U.S. economy over the next 12 months. However, 54% of those surveyed are optimistic about the world economy.
Additional findings include:
- 37% of manufacturers have operations in China and another 5% plan to begin manufacturing there within the next 12-18 months.
- 85% say manufacturing in China will be important to profitable growth of their company during the next three to five years.
- Growing concerns about high energy prices continue to affect optimism about the U.S. economy with 80% (significantly increased from 53% last quarter) anticipating that escalating energy prices will prove a potential roadblock to growth of their company in the next 12 months.
- Industrial manufacturers expect revenue gains averaging 7.8% during the next 12 months -- well above the 6.5% estimated in the prior quarter -- but still below their ambitious goal of 9% set a year ago.
- In terms of gross margins, only 26% cite decreasing profitability as a potential barrier to their company’s growth in the next 12 months.
PricewaterhouseCoopers' Manufacturing Barometer is a quarterly survey of executives from large, U.S.-based industrial manufacturing companies. It measures opinions on subjects ranging from the domestic economy, barriers to growth, margins and pricing, new investment strategies, hiring plans and business initiatives under consideration.
For more information about barometer surveys, including recent economic trend data and topical issues, please visit PricewaterhouseCoopers website.