Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Third Quarter 2019

In 2018, manufacturers’ optimism reached an all-time high, according to the NAM’s Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. For the second consecutive quarter in 2019, the survey shows a significant drop in manufacturers’ optimism amid uncertainties, softening global economy and worsening workforce shortage. A positive outlook for their business was registered by 67.9% of manufacturers.

For the eighth consecutive quarter, the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce remained manufacturers’ top business concern. The survey also found that trade uncertainties among manufacturers rose.


Concerned about trade uncertainties.


Cite the inability to find skilled workers as a top challenge.

Manufacturers across the country are telling us nothing concerns them more than the workforce crisis. This quarter’s survey also provides more evidence that a slowing global economy and uncertainties have manufacturers on edge. If we get the USMCA passed, the trade war with China turned into a trade agreement with China and the Export-Import Bank reauthorized, manufacturers will be able to hire even more workers and grow our operations with more certainty.”

– NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons

NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Third Quarter 2019