SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

May 19, 2008 15:43 ET

Confidence of Small Manufacturing Companies Increases 15 Points During First Quarter

All Key Indicators Rise Says Small Business Research Board Report

BUFFALO GROVE, IL--(Marketwire - May 19, 2008) - The Small Business Research Board (SBRB) Manufacturing Industry Small Business Confidence Index (M-SBCI) increased to 43.66 during the first quarter of 2008, an incline of 15 points (52.3%) from the 28.66 recorded the prior period.

All three major indicators were higher and contributed to the increase in the index, according to the report co-sponsored by International Profit Associates.

The poll of owners and managers of manufacturing companies indicated that 41% are expecting the economy to improve during the next 12 months, 18 points higher than the 23% who believed the economy would improve as reported in the fourth quarter of 2007.

54% of the same group said they expect revenues to increase during the coming 12 months versus 37% who predicted revenue increases during the previous quarter.

Plans for hiring were also more optimistic with 36% of the respondents saying they would increase hiring during the next 12 months against the 26% who said they would increase hiring during the prior period.

The 43.66 current manufacturing industry confidence index is consistent with the 43.67 reported for all U.S. small businesses during the first quarter of this year.

Meanwhile, the quarterly report said 41% of the businesses have raised prices in response to increased fuel costs. For those businesses adjusting to an increase in fuel prices, 22% have reduced business travel and 20% have eliminated routing, or reduced the length of delivery routes, in addition to reducing other costs. Survey participants reported a higher level of just-in-time ordering as the fifth-mentioned possibility for offsetting costs.

More than 1,000 small business owners participated in the nationwide poll. The universe of participants is developed from among small businesses across the United States. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly.

The Small Business Research Board ascertains and reports the opinions of small business owners and managers on a wide variety of topics related to their own businesses as well as national and international issues that may impact their operations. The SBRB conducts these studies for the benefit of small business owners and managers. The SBRB also provides opportunities for third parties to gain real time insight into the attitudes of small businesses nationwide through the independently conducted research.

More information can be found at

International Profit Associates (IPA) provides directly, or through its affiliated companies, a comprehensive array of business advisory services, tax and estate planning services or merger, acquisition and other financial advisory services in the United States and Canada. More information about IPA can be found at

© 2008 Small Business Research Board

For more information about this poll, results of previous studies or other matters related to the Small Business Research Board, please contact Jennifer Cumbee, (847) 495-6786.

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