Optimism for economic growth in the near future

91% of manufacturing executives are optimistic about the growth of their company in coming months

03/24/2011


Senior management at U.S. manufacturing companies are significantly more optimistic about their own companies’ growth than they were just three months ago in November, according to a Grant Thornton LLP February survey. Nine in 10 (91%) report that they are optimistic about their companies’ growth in the next six months, up from 81% in November.

As for the economy, 60% believe that the U.S. economy will improve in the next six months, up from 49% in November. However, those planning to increase hiring in the next six months saw a drop to 44% in February from 49% in November.

“We believe that the decrease in expected hiring despite an overall high level of optimism is because manufacturing executives feel some uncertainty about the future of manufacturing in the U.S.,” said Wally Gruenes, Grant Thornton’s national managing partner for Consumer and Industrial Products and a member of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). “These executives believe that the United States government has no battle plan to make American manufacturing more competitive in order to create more good-paying jobs. In fact, to the contrary, they believe Washington has created a climate that has made American manufacturers less competitive over the years.

“Rather than spending scarce resources on employees, manufacturing executives are spending on capital equipment purchases and technology to improve productivity and lower costs in an effort to be more competitive globally,” continued Gruenes.

With regard to reducing the U.S. government budget deficit, manufacturing execs favor cutting spending 4 to 1 over raising taxes.

In order to reduce U.S. government budget deficits…

NAM has put forth to the current administration a “Manufacturing Strategy for Jobs and a Competitive America” that includes the following key tenants:

  1. Create a tax climate that is competitive — The United States has the second highest statutory tax rate among the major industrial countries (Japan has the highest rate but has proposed a reduction, leaving the U.S. with the highest statutory rate).
  2. Stop the continual expansion of federal mandates and labor regulations that increases costs to the employer and discourages the hiring of new employees.
  3. Implement a fair approach to legal reform. Direct tort costs account for almost 2% of GDP in the United States — the highest in the world.
  4. Create a regulatory environment that promotes economic growth. Current laws impose substantial compliance costs never anticipated by the lawmakers.
  5. Enact tax provisions that will stimulate investment. For example, make the R&D tax credit permanent and increase the rate.
  6. Enact pending trade agreements quickly to reduce barriers to U.S. exports.
  7. Support health care reform that drives down costs.

“Based on my discussions with manufacturing executives, they support NAM’s strategy, but are skeptical that the current administration will act on their recommendations,” concluded Gruenes.

www.GrantThorton.com

Grant Thorton LLP

- Edited by Amanda McLeman, Plant Engineering, www.plantengineering.com



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.