The outlook is not yet rosy for US industrial stocks, but it appears far brighter than two years ago.
Economic pundits will be pleased. Growth in companies that make stuff – unlike financial institutions which mainly operate on the secondary market – is a sign the real economy is on track.
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If the accelerating economy pushes up energy and input prices further, the ability of industrial companies to pass on the higher cost to customers will be tested. These customers proved more than willing to pull back during the global downturn. Chief executives will be reluctant to test them again so soon.