Poll suggests economy showing substantial improvement

Economists expect a 2 percent increase in sales in 2011

A recent survey conducted by the National Association for Business Economics says that the U.S. economy’s health is improving “substantially.”

“Companies appear to be positioning themselves for a firming economic environment,” said Shawn DuBravac, an economist with the Consumer Electronics Association, who analyzed the findings.

The survey is conducted quarterly and expresses the views of economists from a select size of trade groups and privately held companies. Results are measured by the Net Rising Index (NRI) which measures the percentage of those that report better outlooks over those whose outlook is less optimistic.

Some 94 percent of the 72 economists said they expected at least a two percent growth in 2011. Other examples that the economy is improving includes:

  • Employment rose slightly, reaching a 12-year high.
  • No firms reported significant layoffs.
  • For the third consecutive quarter sales increased

During the first quarter of 2011, 63 percent of economists surveyed said sales rose. That’s the highest percentage since 1994. Also the NRI figure of 31 measuring profit margins was the highest since 1983. Prices did rise in the first quarter, and the economists expect unrest in the Middle East and the Japan tsunami to impact growth.

The economists reported that salaries and wages jumped to their highest level since October 2007’s survey. Two-thirds of the goods-producing industry (farming, mining, manufacturing, etc.) reported higher prices, while companies have had to shell out more money for materials. These two points are likely noted in particular by employers. With salaries and wages rising, as well as the cost of raw materials to manufacture goods rising, it almost as if the rise in projected sales is offset by these other expenses.

But, these rises in labor and materials can be mitigated by something as simple as investing in online training skills. We’ve talked extensively in this spot about how important it is to employ a knowledgeable workforce, with an emphasis on process training, equipment maintenance and safety protocol, you can eliminate material waste and improve the overall production process. ITC Learning, the world leader in Industrial Skills training, has developed up-to-date modular training skills videos that are up to industry standards.