Surveys Suggest Increase in Activity

THE JOURNAL RECORD, September 26, 1997 | Go to article overview

Surveys Suggest Increase in Activity


WASHINGTON (Bloomberg) -- U.S. manufacturing and construction executives expect business activity to grow at a steady pace heading into the fourth quarter, according to a pair of monthly industry surveys for August.

The industrial sentiment index, measuring manufacturers' expectations for the three months ending in November, rose to 22 last month from 21 in July, according to a Dun & Bradstreet survey.

And the order book index, which measures construction companies' three-month outlook, held steady at 40 in August from the previous month, Dun & Bradstreet said Thursday. Last month's positive readings for construction and manufacturing indexes mean more companies surveyed expect an increase in business than those expecting business to slow. Manufacturing executives see steady increases across the board, including production, new orders, exports and employment. "The manufacturing sector continues to benefit from an economy blessed with low inflation, relatively easy access to credit, healthy consumer spending levels and the opening of emerging markets, which are willing to purchase U.S.-made goods," said Joseph Duncan, chief economic advisor for Dun & Bradstreet. Construction executives, however, remained more cautious about growth in the fourth quarter, the survey found. While construction companies see prices and employment increasing, orders books probably will remain unchanged during that period. …

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