While manufacturers were feeling pretty chipper about the 2012 outlook for business growth back in December of 2011, that attitude has fallen into the abyss along with the economy, according to recent surveys. The results of several new surveys released this month from various manufacturing groups indicate that a growing lack of confidence among business owners over the weak economy, looming tax hikes in January, and political uncertainty is preventing job growth.
A survey taken in July by the National Small Business Association found that confidence among its members has dropped from 75% in the December 2011 survey to 60% six months later. Worse yet, the survey found that 34% of the 350 respondents to the survey expect a recession in the next 12 months, up from 14% in December. The number of owners who expect the economy to grow or remain unchanged fell to 66% from 86% six months prior...