Manufacturers Expecting Slower Growth

U.S. manufacturers are starting to feel effects of the global financial crisis in the form of falling prices that may eat into profit -- and they're less optimistic about the nation's economy than a year ago -- says the National Assn. of Manufacturers (NAM) summarizing a recent survey of members. Nearly half (44.2%) of manufacturers surveyed say prices of their final products are falling, versus last year's 28%; 43.4% expect earnings growth rate decreases. To brace for that blow, they're sharply curtailing capital investment plans. This year, more than half predict capital investment of less than 5%; last year, 57% planned investment between 5% and 10%. NAM officials urge 10% reduction in corporate and individual tax rates for fiscal stimulus. One survey positive: 64.2% predict low inflation of 2% or less. For copies of the survey call NAM's Amy Reynolds at 202/637-3094 or Dionis Williams at 202/637-3096. NAM, which has 14,000 member companies, is holding its National Manufacturing Week forum this week in Chicago.

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