Survey shows manufacturers are more upbeatIn Alexandria and throughout Minnesota, the worst of the recession may be over for manufacturers.
In Alexandria and throughout Minnesota, the worst of the recession may be over for manufacturers.
That’s according to the “State of Manufacturing,” a major survey research project sponsored by Enterprise Minnesota and partners.
“Last year there was optimism but people were wondering whether activity was just about inventory replenishment,” said Enterprise Minnesota president and CEO Bob Kill, who was in Alexandria last week to present findings from the group’s third annual survey. “Today, they’re starting to realize that it’s past that stage and work really might be coming back.”
?Less than one in 10 manufacturing executives (9 percent) surveyed anticipates a continued recession in 2011, while 40 percent foresee economic expansion.
Compared to the first “State of Manufacturing” survey two years ago, that represents a 47 percent decline in executives predicting recession and a 32 percent jump in those who project growth.
More executives are expecting an increase in revenues, profits, and capital expenditures. In fact, the percentage of respondents who project increases has nearly doubled over the past two years.
Fifty-one percent expect their firm’s annual gross revenues to increase in 2011, up from 44 percent in 2010, and up from just 23 percent two years ago.
Thirty-nine percent expect their firm’s profitability to increase, up from just 17 percent two years ago. Thirty-two percent project their capital expenditures to increase, an increase from 24 percent last year and 19 percent two years ago.
“The increase in capital expenditures is a big key,” Kill said. “For manufacturers, that indicates this recovery may be based on solid footing.”
Enterprise Minnesota conducts the annual survey to give insight to the economic outlook, provide a forum for manufacturing issues, and shed light on the state’s manufacturing community.
“The value of manufacturing to a healthy economy cannot be stated strongly enough,” Kill said. “We saw manufacturing lead the way in job growth last year, and the optimism for this year should be a positive sign for the year ahead.”
ABOUT THE SURVEY
Public Opinion Strategies conducted phone interviews with 400 manufacturing executives, representing a geographically proportional cross-section of Minnesota, over two weeks in January. The poll has an error rate of plus-or-minus 4.9 percent.
The research was complemented by 17 focus groups of manufacturing executives conducted throughout Minnesota. ??Statewide sponsors for the State of Manufacturing include: Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP; the Center for Rural Policy and Development; Granite Equity Partners; Gray Plant Mooty; M&I Bank; and RJF Agencies.
Enterprise Minnesota helps Minnesota manufacturing enterprises grow profitably. Chartered by the Minnesota State Legislature in 1987, Enterprise Minnesota is an affiliate of the Department of Commerce, National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP).
For more information visit www.enterpriseminnesota.org.