Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: First Quarter 2020

Despite global economic concerns and trade uncertainties in 2019, the latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey from the National Association of Manufacturers illustrates the growing optimism in the sector in early 2020—and reinforces the stabilization reported at the end of 2019. In the first quarter of 2020, 75.6% of manufacturing respondents reported a positive outlook for their company.

The inability to attract and retain a quality workforce remained a top business concern (67.1%) for the 10th straight quarter.

The survey closed in February and does not reflect the developments on the COVID-19 outbreak in March.


Concerned about trade uncertainties.


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

NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: First Quarter 2020