WASHINGTON — Top U.S. companies have not scaled back their production and investment plans in reaction to the collapse of the stock market, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said Wednesday in releasing results of a survey.
The chamber said it surveyed sentiment among the 34 companies represented on its board and found that three-fourths of the firms believe their sales will continue rising, despite the fall in stock prices.
Many private economists have expressed fears that consumers may become fearful about the future and begin cutting back on purchases.
The companies also responded optimistically when asked about production and capital spending plans.
Twenty-nine of the 34 companies indicated they were going forward with production plans that were scheduled before the stock market plunged Oct. 19. Thirty-one of the 34 companies said they were not planning to curb their capital spending plans to expand and modernize production facilities.
"The results of this survey reaffirm our belief that real economic growth should be approximately 3% next year," said Richard Rahn, chief economist for the chamber.
However, many private economists have slashed their own forecasts and are predicting that the economy, as measured by the gross national product, will grow an anemic 1.5% next year.
The chamber's board of directors is a cross section of its 180,000 members.