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Investment, Hiring Plans Show Rising U.S. Business Optimism

Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg
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A jump in U.S. investment and hiring plans for 2017 indicates manufacturers and service providers have grown more optimistic about the economy since late last year, the Institute for Supply Management’s twice-yearly forecast showed Monday.

By margins of more than four-to-one, companies that were increasing their capital spending plans gave the reason as an improved business outlook rather than prospects for regulatory reform, the survey showed. The results are consistent with a post-election surge in confidence and support projections for a pickup in economic growth following a weak first quarter. At the same time, businesses and consumers are still awaiting evidence that President Donald Trump and Congress can quickly enact and implement legislation covering tax cuts, infrastructure investment and fewer regulations.