Manufacturing executives report signs of improving economy in new poll

August 24, 2009

Optimism about the economy is beginning to permeate among the ranks of recession-wracked manufacturers, according to a new poll conducted by the co-sponsors of the upcoming FABTECH® International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM, in Chicago.

More than half (53 percent) of the manufacturing executives polled indicated they have seen or experienced signs that signal the start of an economic recovery. The survey of 1,046 past or prospective registrants of the FABTECH event was conducted in late July.

A high percentage of metal forming companies also forecast an increase in incoming orders during the next three months. Sixty-two percent predict an increase in orders (up from 46 percent in July), 27 percent expect no change (down from 39 percent the previous month), and 11 percent of companies anticipate a decrease in orders (compared to 15 percent in July).

Leading the way of positive signals reported were an increase in new sales inquiries (27 percent), followed by an increase in orders (23 percent), reduced layoffs (18 percent) and the need to replenish inventory levels (14 percent).

Additionally, more than one quarter surveyed – 27 percent – agree with economists' forecasts that the economy will return to moderate growth in the third and fourth quarters of 2009.

"These findings are in line with what we are hearing from other industry sectors, as well as economists' assessments that the economy is gradually improving," said Mark Hoper, FABTECH show manager. "Thus, it's important for manufacturers to take advantage of this pending recovery period. In fact, one keynote address during FABTECH offers strategies designed to prepare businesses for the economic turnaround, and other sessions explore similar issues tied to the economy."

Taking place November 15-18, the FABTECH® International & AWS Welding Show, including METALFORM, is timed to provide manufacturers with the latest tools, technologies and processes to improve their business in uncertain economic times.

FABTECH is expected to draw some 35,000 attendees and 1,000 exhibitors to Chicago's McCormick Place. It is the largest tradeshow in North America dedicated to showcasing a full spectrum of metal forming, fabricating, stamping, tube and pipe, and welding equipment and technology.



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