Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Second Quarter 2021

Manufacturing activity plummeted sharply as businesses grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic and the global recession in the spring of 2020, but the sector has bounced back sharply since then. Now manufacturing production is likely to exceed pre-pandemic levels in the third quarter of 2021, with robust sales buoyed by pent-up demand, fiscal and monetary stimulus and economic recoveries in markets around the world.

The Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2021 found that 90.1% of respondents felt either somewhat or very positive about their company outlook. It was the fourth straight quarterly increase in optimism in the survey, with the outlook bouncing back from the 33.9% reading one year ago, which was the worst since the Great Recession. More importantly, this suggests that manufacturers had the strongest outlook in nearly three years, since the third quarter of 2018, and manufacturers are predicting the highest levels of production, sales and job growth in Outlook Survey history.

NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey: Second Quarter 2021