The latest results of Eastbridge Consulting Group's Voluntary Industry Confidence Index survey are mixed. Though the overall index dipped to 98.4 percent after reaching a high of 102.1 at the end of 2010, participants say sales are surpassing expectations.

"The results of the survey are interesting," says Gil Lowerre, Eastbridge president. "In the survey, more participants reported that 2011 sales had thus far exceeded their expectations, making the negative predictions difficult to understand."

In fact, almost 40 percent of participants said year-to-date sales exceeded expectations, 39 percent said they were in line with expectations and only 22 percent said they were below expectations.

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