Four Star Supply, Inc.
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Survey:Sales,Employment Likely to Grow 07/16 06:09

Survey:Sales,Employment Likely to Grow 07/16 06:09

   Most U.S. business economists expect corporate sales to grow over the next 
three months and hiring and pay to rise with them.

   DETROIT (AP) -- Most U.S. business economists expect corporate sales to grow 
over the next three months and hiring and pay to rise with them.

   But a majority of the economists surveyed by the National Association for 
Business Economics say the corporate tax cuts that the Trump administration 
pushed through Congress have yet to affect their plans for hiring or 
investment. The administration had promoted its tax cuts, which were heavily 
tilted toward corporations and wealthy individuals, as likely to raise worker 
pay and promote corporate investment and expansion over time.

   The NABE also said a majority of respondents from goods-producing companies 
said their companies were delaying investment, raising prices or taking other 
steps in response to the Trump administration's trade conflicts with other 
nations.

   The results of the quarterly survey being released Monday reflect responses 
from 98 of the NABE's members between June 14 and June 27.

   Sixty-eight percent of the business economists said they foresee sales 
growing over the next three months. And for a fourth straight quarter, a higher 
proportion of respondents reported rising sales at their companies. All the 
panelists expect the U.S. economy, as measured by the gross domestic product, 
to expand over the next 12 months.

   Goods producers --- a category that includes manufacturers, farmers and 
construction --- are most optimistic, with 94 percent saying they expect sales 
to rise over the next three months.

   Fifty-one percent of the economists said wages rose at their companies 
between April and June, and they expect pay to keep rising over the next three 
months. It was the first time since the NABE began analyzing such data in 1982 
that it has reported such strong wage growth over two quarters. Forty-one 
percent of respondents said their companies expect to hire in the next three 
months.

   "Labor market conditions are tight, with skilled labor shortages driving 
firms to raise pay, increase training, and consider additional automation," 
Sara Rutledge, chair of the NABE's Business Conditions Survey, said in a 
statement.

   Overall, the respondents reported little impact so far from the Trump 
administration's tariffs against China, the European Union, Canada and Mexico. 
A majority --- 65 percent --- said the trade disputes haven't led their 
companies to change hiring, investing or pricing so far.

   But among goods-producing companies --- which are directly affected by the 
tariffs and the counter-tariffs by America's trading partners --- a majority 
said they had made one or more such changes. Twenty-six percent of the 
goods-producing companies said they had delayed investments, and 16 percent 
said they had raised prices.


(KA)