ISM's newly released economic report predicts manufacturing growth in 2011The Institute of Supply Management released its economic forecast for the U.S. for 2011 and the results are encouraging, especially amidst the economic difficulties that currently plague the nation.

According to the semiannual report, a survey of the nation's purchasing and supply management executives, economic growth will continue through next year. Moreover, the manufacturing sector will outpace the non-manufacturing sector as the report asserts that those surveyed have more confidence that manufacturing will deliver robust profits, outflanking the non-manufacturing sector.

On a more granular level, the report estimates that of 18 manufacturing industries - as varied as petroleum and coal products and paper products -16 should experience growth. In fact, 65 percent of survey respondents expect revenues to be greater in 2011 than 2010, though they simultaneously affirm that they will reduce inventories in "an effort to improve their purchased inventory-to-sales ratio in 2011." Furthermore, business investment in the sector, an incredibly important harbinger of future expansion, will "increase substantially."

Currently, manufacturing purchasing and supply executives report their companies are operating at 80.2 percent of normal capacity, which is significantly higher than the 72.8 percent volume reported back in April of this year. Along with the positive manufacturing news, however, respondents anticipate a 2.7 percent rise in the prices they will pay during the first month of 2011 as commodity prices are expected to retain their upward trajectory.
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