Highlights of the survey include:
• Sixty-four percent of executives feel more optimistic about financial prospects for their own companies, down slightly from 69 percent a year ago.
• Seventy-two percent of respondents rated their optimism about financial prospects as moderate to high, an increase of 10 percent over last year.
• Seventy-three percent of respondents forecast moderate to rapid growth for their key customers for the next 12 months.
• A record number of companies (72 percent) are planning capital expenditures in computer hardware and software.
• Top priorities in 2013 include cutting operational costs, developing new products and services, and seeking new markets for products and services.
• Nearly half of U.S. manufacturers (46 percent) have engaged with local educational providers in order to train workers (up from just 19 percent in 2012).
• More companies are planning to increase their number of employees in 2013 — 49 percent of respondents, up from 41 percent in 2012.
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Publication date: 5/6/2013