Canadian Manufacturing Barometer

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Business outlook Q2 2012

August 2012

In the second quarter of 2012, PwC interviewed 43 Canadian-based industrial manufacturing executives about their current business performance, the state of the economy, and their expectations for business growth over the next 12 months.

Overall, 54 per cent of Canadian-based industrial manufacturing executives are optimistic about the prospects for the Canadian economy over the next 12 months. Fifty-six per cent believe that the Canadian economy grew in second-quarter, 2012. The Canadian sample forecast single-digit revenue growth for their own-companies over the next 12 months, 4.4 per cent, similar to the prior quarter and the calendar year 2012 pace of 4.2 per cent.

Optimism about prospects for the world economy among those selling abroad decreased to a lower 10 per cent level in view of majority uncertainty. Some positive change was reported in international sales in second-quarter, 2012. The contribution of international to total revenues is expected to be 63 per cent– 43 per cent from the US and 20 per cent from other international markets.

Chief barriers to growth over the next 12 months remain high oil/energy costs, concern about demand and monetary exchange rates. A moderately-high number (44 per cent) are planning major new investments of capital over the next 12 months, and 63 per cent are planning increased operational spending, focused on information technology, research & development and new products or service introductions. But new hiring plans were lower. Finally, gross margins remained moderately positive in the second-quarter, 2012, with limited increases in both costs and prices.

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