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IN BRIEF : Professional Buyers See Growth

From Reuters

The nation’s purchasing executives, who buy anything from airplane parts to paper containers for their firms, expect a stronger U.S. economy next year, the National Assn. of Purchasing Managers said today.

The trade group, in its semiannual economic forecast based on a survey of its membership, also said most buyers expect this year’s fourth quarter to be stronger than the third.

“The exceptionally high level of optimism expressed by purchasing managers about the next 12 months overshadows their concerns regarding inflation, rising interest rates and the budget deficit,” said Robert Bretz, chairman of the association’s business survey committee and director of materials management at Pitney Bowes Inc.

Part of the reason for the rosy outlook, endorsed by a 4-1 margin, is that more than half of those responding to the survey report that their businesses are operating at 90% or better capacity.

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