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.
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Annual Salary Survey
In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.
Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.