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5/9/2007



Rail News: Financials

Manufacturing growth will be slow but steady throughout 2007, survey says



Which way will the U.S. economy swing during the remainder of 2007? In railroads’ favor, according to an economic/manufacturing forecast released by the Institute for Supply Management’s Business Survey Committee.

A recent poll of 350 purchasing and supply management executives shows economic growth will be slow but sustainable for the rest of the year, especially in the manufacturing sector. Sixty-two percent of the manufacturing respondents predicted their annual revenue would best 2006, increasing by a net 5.6 percent.

Manufacturing industries projecting the largest revenue increases included primary metals, fabricated metal products, chemicals, plastics and rubber products, and food and beverage products.

In addition, a majority of the respondents expected their capital expenditures to increase an average of 5.8 percent, prices to go up a total of 3.5 percent and employment to rise 0.5 percent by year’s end.

“While 2007 appears to be lagging behind the last three years in terms of manufacturing growth, the forecast indicates manufacturers are investing and foresee revenue improvement in their future,” said Norbert Ore, survey committee chairman and group director of strategic sourcing and procurement for Georgia-Pacific L.L.C., in a prepared statement.


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