Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Second Quarter 2020

Manufacturers have been severely challenged by demand and business disruptions due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting recession. Despite finding levels of sentiment rivaling the Great Recession, the National Association of Manufacturers’ survey also found that operations continue at the vast majority of manufacturing firms.

In the second quarter of 2020, 33.9% of manufacturing respondents reported a positive outlook for their company, the lowest reading since the first quarter of 2009 and down from 75.6% in the previous survey. Overall, the data reflect a sector that is experiencing its worst contraction since the Great Recession—a finding that mirrors other economic indicators.

Nevertheless, manufacturers have continued to operate through the crisis. The vast majority have continued operations (67.1%) or temporarily halted only part of their operations (31.6%). Among large manufacturers, 50.8% are completely operational, while roughly 73% of small and medium-sized firms state the same.

NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Second Quarter 2020