The quarterly NAM/Fortune Manufacturing for the second quarter of 2006 is in this week’s Investing Section of Fortune Magazine.
Our quarterly questionnaire of our membership shows that the business outlook for both large (those that employ 1,000 or more employees) and small manufacturers remained high in the second quarter. For large firms, 90 percent of the respondents had a positive business outlook. This matches their outlook in not only the first quarter of 2006 but also the average during the 2003-2005 period.
For small firms, business confidence slipped a bit in the second quarter, though it remains strong. 85 percent were optimistic last quarter. This is down from 91 percent in each of the prior two quarters but slightly higher than the overall average in the 2003-2005 period.
Together these data suggest that manufacturers remain optimistic about their business prospects looking out 12 months. However, growth is likely to moderate in the months ahead along with slower overall economic growth.
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