spondents agreed that growth will be
modest over the next four quarters (
averaging 2.7% overall). Also, 49% said
that new capital
were under way
to start in
the coming months. -
h Investment outlookNo investment planned 54% Sell-off ahead 6% Investments coming 40%
Current investment is at a standstill, and over
half of the respondents said new investment
won’t occur until the economy improves.
These are both positive signs for the
On the downside, jobs will lag
behind these other indicators as 82%
said they were “holding steady (on job
hires) until business improves.” (Note:
On the downside, 10% expect more
job cuts.) It appears that job creation
is a condition of, not a precursor to,
better economic times.
Optimism reaches high
Optimism was at its highest point
ever. Much depends on expectations
of increased demand, production
restraints and an improvement consumers’ overall outlook. We expect
increased capital investment in the
near term, but jobs will wait for
positive milestones rather than indicators. ■
Greg Rennier, Ph.D., is president of
Rennier Associates, Inc., e-mail greg@
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