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US Economy Over the Worst: KPMG Executive Survey

Monday, 28 Mar 2011 | 6:03 AM ET

In another sign the American economy is on the comeback trail, a new survey from KPMG shows optimism is improving among U.S. manufacturing and service industry executives. Executives in both key sectors say the worst is behind us.

The survey shows 68 percent of manufacturing executives believe business activity will be higher in the next 12 months. That's up from 57 percent in October.

Forty-one percent of those same executives say they plan to hire more in the weeks and months ahead. That number was just 28 percent five months ago.

As far as revenue is concerned, 65 percent of manufacturers surveyed by KPMG expect revenues to rise in the next year.

"American manufacturing is on the rise because companies are rebalancing, and it is pretty clear demand is picking up nationwide," said Lynne Doughtie, KPMG's National Managing Partner for Advisory Services.

Doughtie added that optimism is also getting better in the BRIC countries — Brazil, Russia, India and China. Then there's Europe. Despite debt problems in Portugal and Ireland, manufacturers are also seeing a brighter future on the continent.

Things are also getting brighter for the U.S. service sector. Sixty-six percent of executives believe business activity will pick up within the next 12 months. However, they're not quite as optimistic on hiring. Only 28 percent of those who responded expect to add jobs in the short term, and that's up ever so slightly from October.

For more on the survey and the inside details, Doughtie will appear on CNBC's "Squawk on the Street," Monday at 9am ET.

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