The 2020 Mid-Year Economic Update_long

Distributors, Manufacturers Still Wary of Economy

Recent survey highlights uncertainty, saying respondents remain cautious as they make plans.

Distributors and manufacturers are still wary of economic conditions, at least according to a newly released Manufacturing Outlook by Clifton Gunderson LLP.

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Data was collected in late 2010 for the survey, so it's possible that attitudes have shifted somewhat given the strong first-quarter results for many companies. But it's still interesting to note that even at the end of 2010, when many distributors and manufacturers were about to report revenue increases over 2009, nearly three-fourths of respondents were concerned about overall economic uncertainty. And almost two-thirds of small businesses surveyed said they would delay "major business initiatives."

About half of all respondents said they are delaying hiring additional staff, which appears to hold true today.

So what are manufacturers and distributors surveyed for this report focusing on? According to the report, they are focusing on customer relationships and staffing. They are also focused on increasing domestic sales and, no surprise, continuing to work on improving operational efficiencies.

Moving forward, they say that cost-cutting will fall in importance.

Read what MDM's readers had to say about the first quarter as well as expectations for the rest of 2011 in the latest results from the MDM/Baird benchmarking survey.

Watch this brief summary below:

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