SOURCE: Small Business Research Board

March 06, 2008 10:02 ET

Confidence of Small Manufacturing Companies Declines More Than Six Points During Fourth Quarter; All Key Indicators Fall Says Small Business Research Board Report

NORTHFIELD, IL--(Marketwire - March 6, 2008) - The Small Business Research Board (SBRB) Manufacturing Industry Small Business Confidence Index (M-SBCI) dropped to 32 during the fourth quarter of 2007, a decline of 6.33 points from the 38.33 recorded the prior period.

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

The poll of owners and managers of manufacturing companies indicated that only 23% are expecting the economy to improve during the next 12 months, 13 points fewer than the 36% who believed the economy would improve as reported in the third quarter of 2007.

Only 37% of the same group said they expect revenues to increase during the coming 12 months versus 45% who predicted revenue increases during the third quarter.

Plans for hiring also were less optimistic with 26% of the respondents saying they would increase hiring during the next 12 months against the 32% who said they would increase hiring during the prior period.

The current manufacturing industry confidence index is 1.67 points lower than the 33.67 reported for all U.S. small businesses during the fourth quarter of last year.

More than 950 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

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