“More firms report upturn in sales, profits, and hiring despite rising costs” is the title of the latest NABE survey conducted in March.
The April 2011 NABE Industry Survey report presents the responses of 72 NABE members to a survey conducted between March 16, 2011, and March 31, 2011, on business conditions in their firm or industry and reflects first-quarter 2011 results and the near-term outlook.
“NABE’s April 2011 Industry Survey makes clear that despite geopolitical concerns, higher oil prices, and uncertainties created by the disasters in Japan, the economy continues to recover,” said Shawn DuBravac, Consumer Electronics Association.
“Job creation in the quarter, as well as the outlook for the next six months as measured by the number of firms increasing headcount, is stronger than we’ve seen in the entire survey history dating back to 1982. Supporting this growth, both recent results and the outlook for sales and profit margins continue to improve. Companies appear to be positioning themselves for a firming economic environment by increasing capital expenditures. At the same time, risks remain present. NABE survey respondents view the Japanese disasters as a net negative. The survey findings reflect early signs of inflationary pressure as more firms raised prices last quarter and also expect to raise them in the coming quarter.”
These findings agree with the recent trends in PMPA’s own Business Trends Report. And make us optimistic that sales of technology and processes to make precision machining shops more competitive will be brisk at PMTS this week in Columbus,Ohio.
But caveats exist-the April 2011 NABE Industry Survey results reflect building inflationary pressure in the U.S. economy.
- The survey recorded the highest percentage of respondents (35%) reporting an increase in pricing since the October 2008 survey.
- Price increases were especially prevalent in the goods-producing sector.
- Materials costs also continued to rise, with more respondents in all four sectors reporting that costs rose last quarter.
- The percentage of respondents reporting rising labor costs has jumped from 16% in the January 2011 survey to 35% in this survey.
- Expectations for future selling-price hikes and non-labor input costs also increased.