PLANT MANAGERS OPTIMISTIC JOURNAL OF COMMERCE STAFF

PLANT MANAGERS OPTIMISTIC JOURNAL OF COMMERCE STAFF

Optimism among plant managers of U.S. manufacturing facilities nationwide rebounded sharply, though their optimism for second-quarter economic performance was stronger than their hopes for 12 months ahead, according to Dun & Bradstreet's quarterly plant managers survey.

The New York-based research firm surveyed 1,500 manufacturing plant managers, who were asked about conditions both for the next quarter and the next 12 months.One of the key indicators is a production index - the percentage of plant managers expecting increases in production, minus the percentage expecting decreases.

That figure soared to 45 from 15 in the first quarter.

Expectations for increased new orders and higher levels of overall demand also rose sharply, with the New Orders Index climbing to 46 from 14, and the Overall Demand Index increasing to 46 from 21.

While expectations for the second quarter were up substantially, the outlook for the next 12 months improved only modestly over the already strong 12-month outlook reported in the first quarter. The Production and New Orders indices each rose three points to 58, while the Overall Demand Index rose four points to 57.