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Survey Offers Further Evidence Of Gains In Manufacturing, Procurements Trends

Manufacturing activity in the U.S. continues to improve, as both overseas demand and the return of previously outsourced jobs drive up revenues for the sector. Earlier in February, the Institute for Supply Management reported factory production increased for the 30th consecutive month in January.

Now, a new report from online manufacturing marketplace MFG.com shows sales and reshoring intentions both increased in the fourth quarter of last year. However, a number of concerns remain regarding supply chains, qualified labor and international markets.

In regards to the supply chain, surveyed factory professionals and executives cited operating costs as their top concern. They also noted greater worries about the availability of skilled workers for contract manufacturers.

"Although there are still many hurdles for manufacturing as a whole, we anticipate continued progress heading into 2012," said Mitch Free, founder and CEO of MFG.com. "It is clear from these latest results that continued focus on manufacturing education is needed - to ensure qualified labor is available on the shop floor."

This is even more important as increases in customer inquiries continue for North American job shops and contract factory workers, Free added.

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