Economic Data and Growth

Manufacturer Optimism Declines

Manufacturers are the least optimistic they’ve been about the economy and their businesses since 2020, according to the NAM’s Q3 2023 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, released yesterday.

Notable: Here are some of the key findings from the latest survey, which was conducted last month:

  • Just 65.1% of manufacturers feel positive about their company’s future, a decline from the previous quarter (67.0%).
  • Some 69.1% of small manufacturers and 63.2% of all respondents would increase hiring or employee compensation if their regulatory burdens decreased.
  • More than 70% of manufacturers would buy additional capital equipment if those same burdens were lightened.
  • The top challenges facing manufacturers—whose concern about an unfavorable business climate was at its highest since 2017 in this survey—are retaining a high-quality workforce (72.1%), a weakened domestic economy (60.7%), rising health care/insurance costs (45.5%) and supply chain issues (37.8%).

The NAM says: “[T]his survey makes clear that unbalanced federal regulations are harming families and communities,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons.

  • “Congress and the administration can help correct this trend by restoring sensible regulations, enacting further permitting reforms, taking action to keep our tax code competitive … and [moving to] build on the progress we achieved with tax reform, the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the CHIPS and Science Act and more.”
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