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Manufacturers Maintain Optimism — and Worries

By NAM News Room

Manufacturers have largely maintained their optimism when it comes to their economic outlook, but they’re deeply concerned about issues such as inflation, hiring and potential tax increases targeting them, according to the NAM’s fourth-quarter 2021 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey.

Still good overall: Some 86.8% of manufacturers had a positive perspective on economic matters in Q4, down slightly from 87.5% in Q3. 

Concerns remain: Yet worries over the increased cost of raw materials, the labor shortage, supply chain issues and legislation that would unfairly target manufacturers are at the forefront of manufacturers’ minds.

  • “Manufacturers are working overtime to fill more than 1 million open jobs, including through our nationwide Creators Wanted workforce campaign,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “On top of that, we’re grappling with a supply chain crisis. Despite the challenges confronting us, manufacturers remain bullish on the future. But if Congress passes legislation with taxes that hit manufacturers harder than other industries, our entire recovery will be thrown off course. If new taxes land on our shoulders, it will undo all the progress we’ve made since the 2017 tax reform law.”

Key takeaways from the survey include the following:

  • 87.1% of respondents said the higher cost of raw materials is their number-one concern.
  • 85.2% have open jobs they cannot fill.
  • 73.6% said supply chain bottlenecks had a negative impact on their company’s production, hiring and overall business outlook.

See the full survey results here.

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