Some optimism in manufacturing, but negligible growth so far this year

There’s no shortage of surveys these days as manufacturing trade associations, consulting groups and CEOs of major manufacturing companies keep a watchful eye on the economy and what it might mean for manufacturing.

On Sept. 18, results were released from the Business Roundtable’s (BRT) third quarter 2013 CEO Economic Outlook Survey, and it shows a small decline in CEO economic expectations for expansion over the next six months. Overall CEO expectations for the U.S. economy dropped modestly in the third quarter, as reflected in the composite BRT CEO Economic Outlook Index, which fell to 79.1 to 84.3 in the previous quarter. CEO expectations for 2013 GDP growth matched the 2.2% annual rate reported in last quarter’s survey, said a summary from the BRT.

“CEO expectations for the next six months remain essentially the same with some downside bias. Expectations for sales and capital investment both declined modestly in this survey,” said Jim McNerney, chairman of BRT, and chairman, president and CEO of The Boeing Company. “While U.S. business performance remains strong, as evidenced by robust recovery in the automotive sector, business leaders still see headwinds preventing a more sustained, robust recovery.”...

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