Nearly half (47%) of survey respondents to the PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP Manufacturing Barometer are optimistic about the 12-month outlook for the U.S. economy. Only 10% remain pessimistic, and 43% are uncertain. This level of cautious optimism is in sharp contrast to a year ago, when 70% were pessimistic and only 5% were optimistic.
Similarly, 41% of those surveyed who sell internationally are optimistic about the prospects for the world economy; 50% are uncertain and only 9% are pessimistic. A year ago, only 4% of the international segment was optimistic about the global economy, while 69% were pessimistic.
"We are beginning to see cautious optimism about the economy in the industrial manufacturing sector," said Barry Misthal, U.S. industrial manufacturing leader for PricewaterhouseCoopers. "There is a sense that the worst is over, but recovery will be slow. These manufacturing executives are still facing a significant challenge to their growth targets from a lack of demand. The industry needs improved momentum in the overall business climate and a reduction in regulatory and legislative pressures."