IndustryWeek (4/14) reports, “The results of the quarterly Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI Survey on the Business Outlook — March 2011 suggest a continued growth trend for manufacturing,” with an index reading of 72, this sixth month it has been above the 50 mark, indicating expansion. However, “the rate of growth may start slowing later this year.” Donald A. Norman, a MAPI economist and the survey’s coordinator, said, “The results of the March survey show the indexes to be strikingly robust and relatively stable. … As such, they paint a clear and consistent picture of continued growth in manufacturing sector activity.”
Manufacturing’s Strong Performance Sets High Expectations. Under the headline “US Manufacturers Face A High Bar This Quarter,” Reuters (4/15, Malone, Zieminski) reports that manufacturing’s strong performance in the past several quarters, when it has taken point in the US economic recovery, has created very high expectations from investors. “It’s easy to satisfy distraction and depression, but now things are better, companies have been reporting rising earnings and it’s harder to impress people,” explained Peter Klein of Fifth Third Asset Management. These heightened expectations are only one difficulty manufacturers must deal with; higher energy and input costs are also pressing on margins.
From SME Daily Executive Briefing 4/15/2011