NAM Firms Expect 'Major Hit' From Asian Woes

Even though the Asian financial crisis hasn't as yet had an apparent affect on U.S. manufacturers, that favorable situation might not last long. A survey of 2,000 member companies taken by the National Assn. of Manufacturers (NAM) indicates that industrial firms are bracing for a "major hit" from the crisis this year. Forty percent of the respondents say they expect Asia's turmoil to decrease U.S. exports "marginally" or "significantly"; 65% believe the effects of the crisis will not be offset by growth in Europe; and 60% predict that U.S. economic growth will slow to 2.5% or lower.

Still, the survey reveals, U.S. manufacturers are optimistic that the Asian economic difficulties won't affect employment. Forty percent of those surveyed expect to increase their number of full-time, permanent jobs.

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