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April 12, 2004: Survey Says U.S. Manufacturers Are Optimistic

ISELIN, N.J. - Encouraged by a stronger U.S. economy and increased corporate spending, business leaders are optimistic about industry growth in 2004, according to a recent national survey of manufacturers sponsored by Siemens. Sixty-three percent of U.S. manufacturers have a positive outlook for the future and believe their industry will improve this year.

The survey also found investing in new technology to be a top priority for the majority of corporations.

"Technology spending is back because companies have a reason to invest in technology now more than ever," said Bill Zadrozny, chief executive officer of Siemens Financial Services Inc. "Companies see a pickup in the demand for business equipment, they see consumer spending continue at a very high level, they see the economy improving, so they're investing in new technologies to improve productivity, increase efficiency, and increase capacity."

Almost half (49 percent) of the business leaders polled said they are expanding their businesses this year, compared to 11 percent who said they are downsizing.

Respondents noted the biggest issues facing their industries are pricing pressures (18 percent) and cost cutting (16 percent).

Publication date: 04/12/2004

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