Manufacturers Generally Pessimistic About Global Prospects

By John S. McClenahen Senior manufacturing executives generally are pessimistic about their global business prospects for the next six to 12 months -- with the exception of prospects in China, India, and, surprisingly, Russia. The major factor is the sharp slowdown in the U.S. economy during the past several months, indicates a survey of 78 senior executives whose companies are among the 450 members of the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI, an Arlington, Va.-based business research group. The executives, for example, see no short-term prospect of business activity improving in any Western or central European country. In South America, a majority of the executives foresee a short-term business upswing in Brazil. But they don't say that about the rest of South America or Central America. "Unfortunately, this is clearly the most pessimistic global outlook we have witnessed in the 10-year history of this survey," says Fred Stocker, vice president and general counsel of Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI and the survey's coordinator.

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