As the U.S. economy’s slow rebound continues, manufacturing activity saw modest expansion through 2013’s first quarter, and manufacturers are optimistic about growth  for the coming months. A Travelers “IndustryEdge” survey released in February revealed that some 75 percent of leading manufacturers have expanded their products or services in the past year or expect to do so by year’s end.

“There was a lot of pent-up demand [for manufacturing], and over the past 18 months we’ve seen some of that demand materialize,” says Jim Mandes, manufacturing industry manager for Travelers Commercial Accounts.

The latest Report on Business from the Institute for Supply Management projects a 4.6 percent increase in manufacturing revenue in 2013, foretelling premium growth for brokers and carriers even without rate increases.

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