ST. PAUL (AP) -- State manufacturers are expressing optimism about business conditions for the rest of the year.
In a survey taken in late July, about 80 percent said they expected to either increase or maintain their current employment levels during the second half of 2001. That compares with 41 percent who reported cuts in the first half.
The survey was done in conjunction with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. It found widespread optimism among manufacturers regardless of their location, size or sector.
Among the findings, 73 percent of respondents said they expected their number of orders would increase or remain the same, and 78 percent believed production levels would increase or stay the same.
State economic officials said the survey is welcome news because the manufacturing sector has been hit hard by the economic slowdown.
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