Survey Reveals Optimistic Outlook For 2003

In a second annual survey, online buying service GlobalSpec Inc. found that manufacturers are expecting increased revenues and fewer cost cuts when this year's final numbers are in. GlobalSpec, Troy, N.Y., is a specialized search engine and online purchasing service for engineers and technical buyers. Six hundred people responded to the survey: 57% are engineers while others are in management, production or quality assurance. Thirty-seven percent work in companies with 1,000 or more employees; 26% in companies with 100 to 1,000 employees; and 39% in companies with fewer than 100 employees. Respondents largely (87%) said revenues this year will exceed 2002's. That compares with 79% answering the same question last year. Also, 28% reported cutting spending this year, compared with 55% in 2002. Similarly, fewer are reducing R&D spending (7% vs. 23%); capital spending (17% vs. 37%); and headcount (18% vs. 42%). "It appears that industrial companies are turning the corner in their thinking and their spending," says Guy Master, vice president of marketing at GlobalSpec. "For companies marketing to the industrial sector, the outlook is promising."

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