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Cautious Optimism Begins, Pessimism Declines on U.S. and Global Economies Among U.S. Industrial Manufacturers, According to PricewaterhouseCoopers' Q4 2009 Manufacturing Barometer
Date:1/28/2010

160;Other areas of great concern include taxation policies at 53 percent, legislative/regulatory pressures at 52 percent, and decreasing profitability at 42 percent.  Anxiety about oil/energy prices rose 8 points to 33 percent but remained well below the 2008 highs, while concerns over capital constraints remained low at 22 percent.

Thirty percent of those surveyed plan to add employees to their workforce over the next 12 months (up 5 points from last quarter), and only 12 percent plan to reduce the number of full-time equivalent employees (down 16 points from last quarter). Of the 30 percent of respondents planning to hire within the next 12 months, the most sought-after employees will be professionals/technicians (23 percent). Only 8 percent of those surveyed report that their companies have begun to rehire workers who were laid off during the economic downturn.

Inventory remained down for 49 percent of U.S.-based industrial manufacturers and up for only 12 percent, for a net minus 37 percent. This indicates that the anticipated inventory buildup has not begun as of Q4 2009.

While many U.S.-based industrial manufacturers are planning new capital investments, the report's
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SOURCE PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
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