The Business Outlook Shifts Down a Notch

(FORTUNE Magazine) -- Small companies have grown less optimistic about their prospects recently, according to the latest NAM/FORTUNE Manufacturing Index. In the second quarter, 85% of small and medium-sized manufacturing companies (those that employ fewer than 1,000 workers) responding to our survey were optimistic about their business prospects for the next 12 months; that was down from 91% in each of the past two quarters. Among large firms, 90% of respondents were upbeat, matching the figure from the previous quarter.

Large firms expect their sales to rise by 4.5% over the next 12 months. While that is a healthy pace, it is a measurable slowdown from the 5.1% expectation recorded in the first quarter. For small firms, expected 12-month sales growth is 4.6%, also a decline from last quarter.

Large survey respondents said they would be able to increase their prices by 1.9% over the next 12 months, a slight reduction from last quarter's expectations. Small firms expect to raise prices a faster 2.4%, a slight rise from the previous survey. All in all, the results of the most recent survey suggest that the manufacturing expansion remains on track but will shift into a lower gear in the year ahead.  Top of page

YOUR E-MAIL ALERTS
Follow the news that matters to you. Create your own alert to be notified on topics you're interested in.

Or, visit Popular Alerts for suggestions.
Manage alerts | What is this?
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.