Over 95 percent of manufacturers are bullish about their future in response to the turnaround in the US economy and the new tax cuts passed by Congress last December. A new outlook survey by the National Association of Manufacturers (nam.org) found that 95.1 percent of manufacturers have a “positive outlook for their companies.” This reflects “the highest level of optimism in the 20-year history of the survey,” with tax reform driving the optimistic outlook. “This record optimism is no accident. It is fueled by the game-changing tax reform passed six months ago,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. The NAM member survey showed that 86 percent of manufacturers plan to increase investment due to tax reform. Manufacturers also were upbeat due to other positive policy changes out of Washington, like its less-burdensome regulatory requirements and pro-growth stances to help manufacturers compete on the global marketplace.
President and CEO Jay Timmons added, “Last year, manufacturers promised that we would deliver for our people and our communities if tax reform became law. Congress and the president delivered, and now manufacturers are keeping our promise: hiring new workers, raising wages, improving benefits, buying equipment and expanding right here in the United States. And the best part is, with manufacturers’ record-setting confidence and plans to keep hiring and growing, more good news is yet to come.”
Other findings of the survey found:
- Manufacturers posted near or an all-time high in their hiring practices and expectations for hiring new workers (highest since 2001)
- Manufacturers expected growth in capital investments to be at an all-time high
- Projected wage growth was expected to be at the fastest growth rate in 17 years
- In the 20-year-history of the survey, medium-sized manufacturers registered the highest level of optimism ever recorded (95.8 percent).
- Manufacturers were highly optimistic about sales growth (second-highest ever)
- 6 percent of manufacturers predict production to expand over the next year with a forecast of 5 percent in output growth
- Inventories are expected to increase over the next 12 months, which will continue a sixth consecutive quarter of anticipated growth
- Manufacturers expect the fastest growth rate for product prices in the last seven years
- International demand remains strong on global growth and manufacturers expect the fastest rate of growth in exports since mid-2014
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