Business confidence remains high among U.S. manufacturers
The latest survey of business confidence shows U.S. manufacturers believe that the economic expansion will extend through at least this year.
The latest survey of business confidence shows U.S. manufacturers believe that the economic expansion will extend through at least this year. The Cahners Business Confidence Index (CBCI) was unchanged between January and February to remain at its highest level since May 1997. February's stability propelled the Index into its fourth straight month without a decline.
In the nearly 7 yr of its existence, the Index has risen for four consecutive months only four times, and it has never seen five consecutive monthly gains. The last time business confidence progressed for 4 mo was a year ago, during the November 1996 to March 1997 period. The March 1997 level (at 67.7) turned out to be the highest the Index has achieved in the 11 mo hence.
February confidence readings were highest for companies headquartered in the West and South, and for those in electronics and construction product industries. In the survey, 77.3% of manufacturers said that business conditions during February were good or excellent, and 76% indicated that they expected conditions would improve over the coming 3 mo.
Annual Salary Survey
After almost a decade of uncertainty, the confidence of plant floor managers is soaring. Even with a number of challenges and while implementing new technologies, there is a renewed sense of optimism among plant managers about their business and their future.
The respondents to the 2014 Plant Engineering Salary Survey come from throughout the U.S. and serve a variety of industries, but they are uniform in their optimism about manufacturing. This year’s survey found 79% consider manufacturing a secure career. That’s up from 75% in 2013 and significantly higher than the 63% figure when Plant Engineering first started asking that question a decade ago.