Manufacturing Barometer™

July 2016

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Navigating through uncertainty… Industrial manufacturers hunker down in a slower growth environment.

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Manufacturing Barometer: Business outlook report, July 2016

Economic sentiment remained largely status quo, as industrial manufacturers continued to adjust to a more difficult macro-economic climate globally. A heightened sense of caution has led to a generally conservative approach to hiring, capital spending, and geographic expansion as management teams monitor business activity and seek to preserve liquidity.

Highlights from this quarter’s report:

  • Company revenue forecasts remain positive. Despite the less-than-friendly global outlook, industrial manufacturers report their own companies are expecting a rebound in revenue growth over the next 12 months.
  • Reduced sentiment on the domestic front. Industrial manufacturers believe the US remains a more attractive place to operate and invest compared to most worldwide countries. However, US lead is beginning to narrow.
  • Careful investment and cost management represent buffers. Reduced levels of revenue growth combined with the uncertain outlook have continued to compel industrial manufacturers to carefully manage costs.

PwC's Manufacturing Barometer is a quarterly survey of US-based executives in large, multinational industrial manufacturing businesses. The survey captures participants' assessments of the direction of the US and world economies and their company's performance and expectations in such areas as revenue growth, margins, inventory, and costs. Other sections explore plans for investment, mergers and acquisitions, and hiring, as well as potential barriers to growth and much more. 

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