Manufacturing Executives More Upbeat on U.S. Economy-Poll

U.S. industrial manufacturers are more optimistic about the U.S. economy over the next 12 months, but they are lowering their expectations for sales growth and are increasingly worried about energy costs and international competition, according to a quarterly survey.

Sixty-two percent of U.S. manufacturing executives are optimistic about the U.S. economy, up 5 percentage points from the first quarter, but down slightly from 63% a year ago, the Manufacturing Barometer survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers said Thursday.

A much higher proportion, 78%, expect the world economy to grow over the next 12 months, the consultancy found.

Manufacturing executives are more upbeat about both the U.S. and world economies than their counterparts in other business sectors, PwC said.

The survey was based on interviews of 61 U.S.-based industrial executives and, for comparison, 44 in other sectors.

On average, manufacturers expect revenues at their companies to grow by 5.7% over the next year, down from 6.8% sales growth expected last quarter and below the 8.1% projection a year ago, PwC said.

The main barriers to growth remain oil and gas prices, foreign competition, and legislative and regulatory pressures, according to the survey.