NEW YORK, NY--U.S. industrial manufacturers expect continued global economic growth in 2012, with optimism regarding the prospects for the U.S. economy continuing to rise, according to the Q1 2012 Manufacturing Barometer released today by PwC US. Optimism regarding the broader world economy also improved, but only moderately as uncertainty remains prevalent across the globe. Reflecting the overall rise in sentiment, more companies plan to hire employees in the year ahead, while a majority forecast increased investment spending. In addition, companies are reporting improved profitability and decreased concerns regarding barriers to growth, despite volatile oil/energy prices worldwide and ongoing concerns regarding legislative/regulatory issues, among other factors.

Some key findings from the report include:
  • 92% of U.S. industrial manufacturers expect positive own-company revenue growth
  • 50% of manufacturers plan to add employees to their workforce in 2012 (the most sought after employees will include production workers, professionals/technicians and skilled workers)
  • The top three perceived barriers to growth were oil/energy prices (53%), lack of demand (47%) and legislative/regulatory pressures (40%)
  • Over the next 1-2 years, more than 90% of participants plan to implement new technologies to meet the needs of consumers, customers and employees to support digital transformation.

    PwC's Manufacturing Barometer is a quarterly survey based on interviews with 60 senior executives of large, multinational U.S. industrial manufacturing companies about their current business performance, the state of the economy and their expectations for growth over the next 12 months. This survey summarizes the results for Q1 2012 and was conducted from February 8 through April 20, 2012.

    To view the complete Manufacturing Barometer report, visit