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Survey: Manufacturers bullish on ’17 sales growth

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Manufacturing executives are painting a rosy picture for the future of the industry, according to a survey jointly released yesterday by Springfield-based KPM CPAs PC and The Leading Edge Alliance.

The 2017 National Manufacturing Outlook and Insights Survey indicates about 70 percent of the 250 survey respondents expect revenue increases this year and half of them are preparing to hire more workers, according to a news release. Additionally, two-thirds expect labor costs to increase and the top barriers to growth were a lack of qualified workers, rising health care costs and pressure for higher wages.

Manufacturing executives from 20 states participated in the survey, representing industrial/machining, transportation/automotive, food and beverage, and construction materials, among other sectors. The survey was distributed late last year to the manufacturing clients of Leading Edge Alliance’s member accounting firms, according to the release. The responses were kept anonymous.

“Learning about these optimistic expectations from other manufacturers across the county will help us and our clients better prepare for the year ahead,” KPM shareholder Gary Wells said in the release.

The survey also noted the high-growth respondents were more focused on research and development, with 12 percent of them planning to reinvest at least a tenth of annual  revenue in R&D. Merger and acquisition activity also could spike, the survey said.

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