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Manufacturing to See Growth in 2017: ISM

May 22, 2017
Manufacturers this year expect a 5.2% increase in capital expenditures, a 1.3% rise in employment and a 4.4% rise in revenues, according to ISM survey.

U.S. manufacturing and services executives expect to see increased revenue, hiring and capital spending in 2017, reflecting confidence in the economy, according to a survey released on May 22.

Purchasing and supply executives are optimistic about rising demand for their goods and services amid signs of solid consumer confidence, officials from the Institute for Supply Management said of the semi-annual business outlook survey.

"Overall, it's the general business outlook that people are seeing and feeling," said Brad Holcomb, chair of the ISM manufacturing business survey committee.

"It all comes down to consumer confidence and even more so consumer activity."

The survey showed manufacturers this year expect a 5.2% increase in capital expenditures, a 1.3% rise in employment and a 4.4% rise in revenues.

The vast majority -- more than 70% -- of companies in both sectors who were boosting capital spending did so because of the "general business outlook," the survey said.

Among those boosting capital spending, 17.4% of manufacturers and 13.5% of services companies cited "prospects for regulatory reform" as the reason.

Only a tiny fraction of respondents cited expectations of a tax cut as a reason for boosting capital spending, suggesting an underlying confidence among manufacturers in U.S. growth, regardless of what happens with President Donald Trump's economic agenda, Holcomb said.

Prospects for the Trump agenda have begun to look shaky in light of various controversies and missteps that could slow or derail his ambitious reform plans.

Executives are "not just reading the news but reading their order books," Holcomb said.

But Anthony Nieves, chair of non-manufacturing business survey committee, said Trump administration pledges to ease regulations on banks has boosted lending, a key enabler of growth.

"The prospective availability of funds and lending is also helping the confidence level across the board," Nieves said.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2017

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