On strength of economic growth, sentiment improves at 92 percent of manufacturers
Manufacturers say they intend to hire more employees and make additional investments in key profitability- and productivity-improving technology, according to a recent survey that sought to gauge sentiment among these industry stakeholders.
PricewaterhouseCoopers released its first quarter Manufacturing Barometer on May 1, reporting that manufacturers feel more optimistic about their ability to generate profits and feel fewer obstacles to growth are present in today's economy. Industrial manufacturers feel more optimistic regarding economic growth in the next 12 months, with the report's index measuring that sentiment climbing 40 points in the first quarter.
On average, manufacturers predict their company's revenue to grow 5.6 percent in the next year, an increase from the 4.4-percent average for projected growth reported in the previous quarter. Ultimately, 92 percent of respondents say they expect revenue to increase this year.
"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," said Barry Misthal, global industrial manufacturing leader for PwC. "Hence, management teams are increasingly focusing on strengthening their product offerings and competitive positioning, as well as evaluating global expansion strategies through both M&A and new facilities building."
Manufacturers searching for valuable ways to extend existing growth trends may benefit from evaluating their business' technological capabilities. By analyzing existing ERP software, for example, business owners may be able to identify shortcomings that when solved could lead to improvements in productivity or profitability.