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NABE Industry Survey: Economic Growth Expected in 2011

In its January 2011 Industry Survey, the National Association for Business Economics (NABE) finds that the economy is continuing to strengthen.

"The number of firms expressing positive hiring plans is at a level not seen in over a decade - a sign of improving labor-market dynamics. Supporting these hiring plans, industry demand continues to move higher and profit margins are expanding. Firms are showing greater optimism, with one in five respondents expecting economic growth between 3-4 percent. Firms are increasing their plans for future capital spending. A majority of respondents anticipate no increase or decrease in investment spending or employment in response to new tax policies, suggesting business decisions are being driven by the fundamentals of an improving economy," said Shawn DuBravac of NABE's Consumer Electronics Association.

Industry demand rose for the sixth consecutive quarter at the end of 2010. Fifty-five percent of those surveyed said demand was rising, with only 12 percent reporting declining demand. Expectations are also improving, with 62 percent of respondents anticipating 2-3 percent real GDP growth in 2011.

The jobs outlook is showing growth as well, with 34 percent of respondents reporting bigger work forces. Last year, that figure reached only 13 percent. And a mere 6 percent of companies are cutting jobs, nearly half the 13 percent of the past three quarters. Forty-two percent of respondents said they plan to hire over the next six months, up from 39 percent last quarter and 29 percent in January 2010.

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