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Manufacturers in U.S. More Upbeat About 2014 Sales, ISM Says

Manufacturers in the U.S. are more optimistic about demand and capital spending this year than at the end of 2013, according to a survey by the Institute for Supply Management.

Purchasing managers at factories project sales will grow 5.3 percent in 2014, up from the end of last year when they forecast a 4.4 percent gain, the Tempe, Arizona-based group’s figures showed today. Service industries estimate a 2.7 percent net increase in revenue compared with a December projection for a 3.6 percent gain.

“U.S. manufacturing continues to demonstrate its broad-based strength, efficiency and leadership in the world economy,” Bradley Holcomb, chairman of the group’s factory committee, said in a statement.

Manufacturers estimate their spending on new equipment and plants will increase 10.3 percent this year, according to the April survey. The December forecast called for an 8 percent pickup. Service industries plan to boost capital outlays by 10.8 percent, up from an end-of-2013 projection of 4.6 percent.

The outlook for employment was little changed compared with the December survey. Service providers predicted a 1.4 percent increase in staffing levels by the end of 2014, today’s report showed. Manufacturers projected a 1.5 percent rise.

“Non-manufacturing will continue to grow,” Anthony Nieves, chairman of ISM’s non-manufacturing survey committee, said in a statement. “The relatively flat rate of growth for overall employment is a potential impediment.”

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