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
Before the calendar turned, 2016 already had the makings of a pivotal year for manufacturing, and for the world.
There were the big events for the year, including the United States as Partner Country at Hannover Messe in April and the 2016 International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago in September. There's also the matter of the U.S. presidential elections in November, which promise to shape policy in manufacturing for years to come.
But the year started with global economic turmoil, as a slowdown in Chinese manufacturing triggered a worldwide stock hiccup that sent values plummeting. The continued plunge in world oil prices has resulted in a slowdown in exploration and, by extension, the manufacture of exploration equipment.
Read more: 2015 Salary Survey