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MFGWatch Survey: Overall Manufacturing Performance in North America Highest in Over a Year; Small Manufacturers Lead the Surge

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MFG.com has just published its latest MFGWatch Quarterly Survey of North American Manufacturers (select this link for the full report and PDF), and the news is pretty dog-gone good. We're still not out of the woods - the availability of capital, the depressed housing market and the US deficit loom large as speed bumps to progress in 2011.

But if you're a small or mid-sized manufacturer in North America looking for reasons to believe, the latest MFGWatch survey results - coupled with the sustained growth shown in the most recent PMI manufacturing survey from ISM - ought to make you downright giddy. Consider this:

  • Buyers, sourcing professionals and OEMs indicated that they added to their stable of suppliers in Q4 ’10, the most in 3 quarters (since Q1 ’10).
  • Hiring among these Buyers remained virtually flat in Q4 ’10. But with positive signs for the coming months and steady job growth through most of last year, small manufacturers should be encouraged & optimistic for new opportunities heading into 2011.
  • For the 6th straight quarter, over one-third of North American supply chain managers state they've experienced a significant supply chain disruption in the past 3 months. As the costs associated with correcting those disruptions continue to impact profits, small manufacturers can expect more opportunities from potential prospects in distress, motivated to find immediate solutions for those issues.
  • More North American Buyers - 25% - report their companies have moved production back or closer to North America than at anytime over the past year. And nearly one-third - 32% - indicate that their companies will be investigating moving production from low-cost countries in the coming 3 months.
  • More North American Suppliers - 44% - say that business conditions have improved, the largest sampling in the past year and a half.
  • Far more Suppliers in North America added jobs than at any time in the past 6 quarters. The 31% reporting positive job growth in their businesses is a full 5% higher than in the previous quarter, and represents the strongest upward trend since the inception of MFGWatch in Q3 '09.

These numbers represent the single greatest quarter of growth, prosperity and optimism seen across the North American manufacturing sector in years, and bodes well for the prospects of small and mid-sized manufacturers through 2011.

About MFG.com

MFG.com is the largest global sourcing marketplace for the manufacturing industry. MFG.com's platform enables companies to intelligently connect, source, collaborate and perform due diligence with transparency and intellectual property protection. It supports virtually all manufacturing processes including Machining, Injection Molding, Fabrication, Stamping, Casting, Assembly, Molding and Industrial Components, is in seven major languages, more than 50 currencies and has more than 200,000 members on five continents. MFG.com is based in Atlanta and has offices in Shanghai, Geneva, and Paris. For more information: www.MFG.com.

About MFGWatch

MFG.com has recast its MFGWatch survey as a quarterly snapshot of the North American manufacturing ecosystem. MFGWatch is based on separate but correlative input from the online marketplace’s membership of manufacturing Buyers and their suppliers. For graphics and a complete report for downloading, visit www.MFG.com/en/mfgwatch.

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