POTOMAC FALLS, VA – Capital investments were more likely at profitable architectural woodworking firms during the last 12 months, says a study by the Architectural Woodwork Institute.

Architectural woodworkers are upbeat overall about the next six months, with an 83% positive Business Sentiment ranking, according to the latest AWI Cost of Doing Business and Compensation Survey by the Architectural Woodwork Institute.

Results suggest an improving business environment, with sentiment about the sales pipeline for the next six months also rosy, registering 95%, 17 points higher than that recorded six months ago. A sizeable number plan to hire over the next year.

The AWI Business Sentiment measure is affected by business condition, sales pipeline, cash flow and labor quality.

Reversing previous surveys, business condition sentiment is now favorable (74%). High profit firms are more optimistic (80%) than other respondents. The survey found that high profit manufacturing firms regardless of manufacturing square footage, have operating margins of 14% compared with the average operating margin of respondents of 3.8%.

In the investment area, 39% of high profit firms invested $100,000 or more in the last 12 months compared with 27% of respondents overall who invested more than $100,000 in the last 12 months.

The investment outlook for the next 12 month period revealed that 21% of high profit firms plan on investing $100,000 or more in the next year; 36% of respondents plan on increasing their workforce by 10% or more in the next 12 months.

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