Of all the turns taken by the U.S. economy this year, few of the have been for the better. But at the beginning of it, many were expecting big things.
A recent survey by job search engine GlobalSpec reports that professionals in the majority of industries were more optimistic about their sales at the beginning of this year than they were last. The report, entitled “The 2011 Economic Outlook Survey: Improving Conditions Present Market Opportunity for Suppliers,” polled over 1,000 engineers, managers and other professionals across 23 industries, finding that 55 percent of respondents expected sales to rise in 2011, while only 24 percent expected them to fall. That's a significant improvement from one year prior, when only 47 percent expected higher sales.
Indeed, only 3 of the of the 23 surveyed industries surveyed expected fewer sales this year. But unforeseeable events may have already complicated those optimistic expectations.
At the beginning of this year, 65 percent of professionals viewed the automotive industry optimistically, compared to 59 percent in 2010, but that sentiment has likely shifted since the Japan tsunami caused supply shortages in March. Especially hard hit was automaker Toyota, which saw its profits drop 75 percent after the disaster. Despite this, the industry's optimism remains warranted, as high gas prices have led to stronger sales of fuel-efficient cars, leading to an overall 14 percent sales increase in the year so far.
Below are the ten industries who expected the greatest sales increases in 2011 according to GlobalSpec.