Thomas Industrial Networks February Industrial Purchasing Barometer (IPB) Survey found that 82% of industrial buyers are either proceeding cautiously or “back to business as usual” with regard to purchasing in the current economic environment. Also, more than 30% stated their company's biggest business increases came from new orders in 2003. Other responses included “profit levels” (27%), “inventory levels” (23%), “shipments” (10%) and “employment levels” (9%).

The IPB survey was conducted randomly among Thomas' pool of more than one million opt-in online users. Survey respondents represent manufacturing and engineering segments, as well as wholesale trade, distribution, service providers and government agencies.

“Thomas' IPB survey results often show that industrial buyers are optimistic, even in the face of challenging economic times,” said Eileen Markowitz, president of Thomas Industrial Network. “Our latest survey shows purchasers' optimism translating into proactive behavior as buyers report increases in new orders, profit levels and inventory levels in their companies.”