NORTHFIELD, IL -- Fewer owners and managers of small manufacturing companies during the third quarter expressed confidence in their business prospects for the next 12 months, the Small Business Research Board reported today. Forty-five percent expect revenues to increase during the next 12 months, a seven point decline sequentially.

The Manufacturing Industry Small Business Confidence Index declined about two points from the second quarter, to 38.33. More than 800 small business owners participated in the nationwide poll.

Furthermore, there was virtually little change in attitudes about the direction of the general economy or for hiring plans.

“Manufacturing companies are approaching the next year with tremendous caution based on the results of the poll which showed a sharp drop in confidence about their business prospects," said Gregg M. Steinberg, President of International Profit Associates, which cosponsored the survey. "They understand the seriousness of a weakening economy and are more apt than several other of the industries tracked by the SBRB to feel the impact much deeper."

The survey polls small businesses across the U.S. The SBRB study is a voluntary survey conducted quarterly.
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