Two-thirds of U.S.-based industrial manufacturers are pessimistic about
the U.S. economy over the next year, according to a survey conducted by
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC). The firm's Manufacturing Barometer for
the third quarter of 2008 finds that 90 percent of survey respondents
believe the U.S. economy declined in the third quarter and 80 percent
believe the global economy declined. Manufacturers are scaling back
growth projections for their own company revenues, forecasting an
average 2.8 percent over 12 months, a 24 percent decline from the
projections last quarter, with lack of demand and decreasing
profitability cited as the major impediments to growth. Plans for major
new investments have curtailed, with only 34 percent of manufacturers
earmarking capital for new expenditures during the next 12 months; 64
percent are planning operational spending increases, most on new
product/service introductions and business acquisitions. "Anxiety over
faltering credit markets has spread the world over, as economic
concerns extend beyond the U.S. and impact global economies," says
Barry Misthal, partner and industrial manufacturing leader at PwC.
"Executives are more cautious than ever before and look towards the
future with newfound fears and trepidation in the global economy." For
the Manufacturing Barometer, PwC interviewed 50 senior executives at
large multinational U.S. industrial manufacturing companies between
August and October.
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