Top executives of three prominent manufacturers on Long Island predicted they would have higher sales this year than in 2015 — supporting the conclusions of a survey released Wednesday.
Military contractors CPI Aero Inc. and GSE Dynamics Inc., both based in Suffolk County, expect more orders because the U.S. defense budget is larger than it has been in recent years. Also, Spectronics Corp. is seeing greater demand for its ultraviolet lighting and fluorescent dyes.
“We have a five-year plan, and we expect to grow by 15 percent each year,” said Spectronics president Jon Cooper, adding his company is bringing back to Westbury work now done by subcontractors in Ohio and Asia.
Cooper joined CPI Aero chief executive Doug McCrosson and GSE president Anne Shybunko-Moore for Wednesday’s introduction of a new local economic indicator: the Purolator International Long Island Supply Chain Index. It was unveiled at a Long Island Association committee meeting in Melville.
The index, based on a poll designed and analyzed by Stony Brook University, focuses on manufacturing executives’ predictions about inventory levels, new orders and production activity over the next six months. The executives also were asked about hiring over the past year and shipping activity in the past six months.
Forty-five percent of the factories surveyed said they expect more new orders than a year ago. Six percent predicted fewer orders, and 49 percent said there would be no change.
Stony Brook professor Leonie Huddy said the ratio between those expecting more orders and those predicting fewer orders “shows Long Island is doing a lot better than the status quo ... it shows optimism.”
The local index is based on a national one from the Institute for Supply Management, and Huddy said the local results are in line with national trends.
Fifty percent of the local plants surveyed said they had hired people in the past year, most in response to increased sales.
CPI Aero, GSE and Spectronics have all added workers. “We continue to see growth opportunities,” said McCrosson of Aero.
The poll for the local index was conducted Nov. 3 to 18 by Princeton Survey Research Associates International, with 200 manufacturers responding out of 2,425 called. The margin of error is plus or minus 7 percentage points.
The poll was paid for by shipping giant Purolator International of Jericho, whose president, John T. Costanzo, came up with the idea of the index.
“I hope this information will help Long Island businesses understand how their orders and shipping activity in the future is going to be a good indicator of how the economy is moving here,” he said, adding that the index will be released four times each year.