The leading buying association for midsized manufacturers, Prime Advantage, conducted an annual survey of its member companies’ CFOs. Overall, expectations are up compared to last year. Prime Advantage found that 46% of the CFOs feel more optimistic about the US economy outlook for 2014 than they did the year prior. While, only 14% said that they felt less optimistic. Almost all CFOs felt that the US manufacturing would either improve or remain the same for this year. CFO’s are also very confident about their own companies, with 89% projecting that their companies will do well this year.
Fueling the optimism about their own companies is that they all forecast a positive customer outlook. All CFOs who responded expected to see growth from their key customers and 54% reported a higher new order pipeline, with only 3% not expecting the same growth.
Another area that CFOs are hoping will boost their business is the cutting of operational costs and advancements in their R&D to provide new products and services. 62% of those surveyed stated that seeking new markets was a top priority. Further, 65% of the member companies are confident enough in their companies to increase hiring for this year and 75% are planning to increase wages.
Strong optimism for midsized manufacturers is a effective barometer for optimism across many industries and the economy at whole. With increased hiring and advancements in R&D, we can expect to see a strong year for US manufacturing.