After out-pacing the overall economy for a second straight year in 2005, what’s 2006 going to look like? Well, check out the 4th quarter NAM/Fortune Manufacturing Index. This forward-looking quarterly survey of NAM members, which is published in Fortune Magazine, has been around for 8 years. Every quarter, our membership provides their 4-quarter outlook with respect to sales, pricing power, capital investment and inventories, and employment and wages.
Here are some of the 4th quarter 2005 highlights: For the first time in the 8-year history of the NAM/Fortune Manufacturing Index, more than 90 percent of both large (those that employee over 1,000 workers) and small company respondents were optimistic about their business outlook.
With respect to growth in 2006, the sales outlook for both large and small firms improved in the fourth quarter. Large firms expect their sales to rise by 5.5 percent over the coming year (the best outlook in 4 quarters). Small firms expect their sales to rise by 4.7 percent (the best outlook in 3 quarters).
To look at the rest of the survey, click on the link above.