More than two-thirds (68 percent) of large U.S. consumer products companies are currently outsourcing some portion of their workforce, according to a new PricewaterhouseCoopers Retail & Consumer Industry Practice report. Consumer products companies, concerned about rising energy costs and tight margins, also anticipate lower growth rates in the months ahead.
Executives surveyed in the first quarter by PwC’s Retail & Consumer Industry Practice expressed less optimism about the domestic economy (53 percent were optimistic versus 67 percent among a cross-section of industries). Additionally, consumer products executives are expecting revenue growth of 6.2 percent during the next 12 months, well below the cross-industries average growth target of 8.6 percent.
Overall, consumer products companies expect the size of their workforce to decrease an average of 3.4 percent during the next 12 months, attributable to deep cutbacks by several large companies and caution stemming from rising energy prices. Only 50 percent are planning to increase their workforce during the next 12 months, while 20 percent of those surveyed expect a net reduction.
The survey interviewed senior executives about the business climate, including 40 in large, U.S.-based consumer products companies and 131 of their peers in a cross-section of all industry sectors. Interviewing was completed May 3, 2006.