Manufacturing professionals expect their companies’ revenues to keep rising through the remainder of the year, and half expect to increase hiring in the year ahead, according to the most recent annual Purchasing and Manufacturing Survey from Chicago-based Prime Advantage, Inc., a buying consortium of midsize manufacturing firms.
Prime Advantage surveyed more than 700 U.S. industrial manufacturing companies, revealing continued optimism about revenues and employment, despite concerns about rising costs and a lack of qualified workers. Some key findings of the report include:
- 49% of respondents said they expect revenues to increase in the second half of 2014 compared to the first half. Of these, 22% anticipate revenue growth will be more than 10% greater this year than last year, while 28% expect revenue growth of up to 10%.
- Capital expenditures are expected to increase in the second half of 2014 for 42% of the midsized manufacturing companies in the group, an increase of 12% from 2013’s survey projections, the firm said.
- 50% of companies expect to hire in the next six months and only 1% are predicting layoffs.
- The cost of raw materials continues to be the main purchasing concern for members; the survey indicates an increased focus on process cost savings and efficiency.
- The top prediction for potential barriers to continued business growth is a lack of qualified workers, 53%.
“Our Members are making some of the highest projections for the next six months that we’ve ever seen,” said Louise O’Sullivan, founder, president and CEO of Prime Advantage. "Revenue forecasts, capital expenditure plans and labor force expectations are all at record levels. Our Members are becoming more energy efficient, more sustainable and more technologically advanced. This is all a true testament to the invaluable supply chain partnerships and resources created through our group’s collaboration as we march in unison to make an everlasting impact in the world of manufacturing that will be built upon for generations to come.”
The report is in line with other positive industry outlooks. The Global Purchasing Index, for instance, has remained above the 100-point mark indicating economic optimism among electronic component buyers since its launch in January of this year. The index has been on the upswing since July, when growth slowed, and hit its highest level since January in October, at a reading of 123.