In its second annual survey of industrial indicators, GlobalSpec, Inc., the industry's largest online technical product resource for the engineering and technical buying community, has found that businesses in the industrial sector are generally optimistic about revenue projections compared to last year. Further, the percentage of companies planning to cut spending has dropped substantially compared to 2002.

In an online survey of nearly 600 respondents, GlobalSpec found that 87 percent of U.S. companies anticipated total revenues this year would be the same or ahead of last year. That compares with 79 percent answering the same question in 2002. Seventy-five percent of respondents indicated 2003 revenue projections are on target or ahead of target, compared to 64 percent in 2002.

Indicating a positive economic trend was the change in response regarding reduction of spending. Last year 55 percent said they had reduced spending, compared to just 28 percent this year. Only 17 percent said they had reduced capital expenditures, compared to 37 percent in 2002. Similarly, among this year's respondents, only 7 percent said they had reduced R&D spending, compared to 23 percent last year. Some 18 percent said they had reduced headcount this year, compared to 42 percent in 2002.

Of survey respondents from the U.S., some 57 percent hold positions in engineering. The remainder work in other corporate functions such as general corporate management, manufacturing, and quality assurance. Thirty-nine percent of the respondents work in companies with less than 100 employees; 26 percent work in companies with 100-1,000 employees, and 37 percent work in companies with 1,000 or more employees.

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