U.S. manufacturers are significantly more optimistic about the economic outlook for the year ahead but still predict only minor jobs growth, an industry report showed on Tuesday.
In its semiannual report -- released as Federal Reserve monetary policymakers meet in Washington -- the Institute for Supply Management said it expected factory revenues to grow 5.8 percent in 2004, up from an estimated 2.8 percent this year.
ISM said manufacturing capital spending was expected to rise 3.2 percent but manufacturing employment would only inch up by 0.3 percent next year.
Separately, the non-manufacturing sector of the economy, which accounts for the majority of economic activity, is also expected to strengthen in the coming year.
"Manufacturing purchasing and supply executives are optimistic about their organizations' prospects for the first half and predict additional growth during the second half of 2004," said Norbert Ore, chair of the ISM manufacturing survey committee.
Manufacturing seemingly has significant momentum at this point with near record strength in new orders and production, the outlook report said.