Manufacturers' Confidence In The Economy, Business Prospects Rise Dramatically In Managing Automation Media's Reader Poll

Jan 13, 2010, 16:46 ET from Managing Automation Media

NEW YORK, Jan. 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Managing Automation Media, the leading information resource for manufacturing management, today released the results of its annual Managing Automation Media Outlook Poll, 2010. The survey, of nearly 400 manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe, shows significantly improved levels of confidence in the economy and in manufacturers' business prospects in 2010.

Manufacturers across the U.S. and Europe say that their feelings about the health of their economies and their own business prospects going into 2010 have improved by a wide margin since late 2009. The new poll, fielded last month, shows that a strong majority of manufacturers in the U.S. and Europe – 57% and 55%, respectively – expect their economies to improve moderately in 2010. Last year, this key measure of confidence dropped to 26% in the U.S. and nearly collapsed in Europe at 13%.

Nevertheless, manufacturers express significant caution about the shape of the recovery. In the U.S., 50% of respondents say they expect a gradual and consistent recovery to unfold, but 40% believe that the recovery could be bumpy. In Europe, the split isn't as dramatic, with 64% expecting a gradual and consistent improvement and 23% anticipating further problems.

And feelings of caution are even more evident when it comes to hiring plans.  Fifty-four percent of U.S. respondents  and 52% of European companies said they have no plans to re-start hiring soon. Of those that will be hiring – about a quarter of respondents in each group – the first and second quarters are the expected timeframes.

"The poll reflects how far manufacturing has come since the crisis days of the downturn at the beginning of 2009 but also how far manufacturing still has to go to see a full recovery," said David R. Brousell, Editor-in-Chief of Managing Automation Media. "How the recovery plays out in coming months will determine how the higher levels of confidence revealed in the poll translate to decisions around such things as capital spending and hiring."

The Managing Automation poll was conducted in December among readers of Managing Automation Magazine in the U.S. and Manufacturing Executive, MA's year-old sister publication in Europe. In addition to confidence levels, the poll also examines reader attitudes with regard to technology budget plans and product purchase intentions for 2010. Full results of the poll can be found online at managingautomation.com and in the January/February issues of the magazines .

Managing Automation media will be conducting a webcast on the poll on February 24. Please check the MA website – www.managingautomation.com – for further details.

About Managing Automation Media

Managing Automation Media, a division of Thomas Publishing LLC, produces focused information and decision-support tools for the North American and European manufacturing markets. Managing Automation, launched in 1986, provides critical content to progressive manufacturers — companies that are using information and automation technologies to transform their businesses and create a sustainable competitive advantage. Manufacturing Executive, a new pan-European media portfolio launched in 2008, is written for senior-level management and addresses their needs to develop 21st century strategies focused on innovation, agility, and competitiveness. Through print magazines, websites, the TechMATCH technology-comparison database, and executive conferences, both brands reach the entire integrated technology buying team at every stage of the technology buying process. Additional information can be found at www.managingautomation.com and www.manufacturing-executive.com.

SOURCE Managing Automation Media



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