Manufacturers 'Pessimistic' About U.S. Economy

Majority of U.S. manufacturers are becoming increasingly 'pessimistic' about the economy as they look to the next 12 months, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers report.

NEW YORK (AP) -- A majority of U.S. industrial manufacturers are becoming increasingly "pessimistic" about the U.S. economy as they look ahead to the next 12 month period, according to a report released Tuesday by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

Of the respondents surveyed -- which included 50 senior executives of leading U.S. manufacturers in the industrial machinery, electronics and transportation sectors -- 90 percent believe the U.S. economy fell in the third quarter. That's up 13 points from the previous quarter, and a 70 point rise from the same period last year.

"Executives are more cautious than ever before and look toward the future with newfound fears and trepidation in the global economy," said Barry Misthal, partner and industrial manufacturing sector leader at PricewaterhouseCoopers.

U.S. manufactures are also trimming their respective revenue estimates to a 2.8 percent average growth rate in the third quarter. That's a 24 percent decline from the 3.7 percent growth estimate last quarter.

Among manufacturers looming concerns include slowing demand and increased profitability over the next year. Despite that, more than half of executives expect 2009 to improve, with 16 percent of those surveyed anticipating double-digit growth and 38 percent projecting single-digit growth.

Twelve percent plan net new hires next year, while slightly under a third of executives surveyed plan acquisitions, down 8 points from the second quarter.

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