Press Releases

Press Releases

NAM Q2 Survey Shows All-Time Record for Optimism

95.1 Percent of Manufacturers Report Positive Outlook in Wake of Tax Reform

Washington, D.C. – TheNational Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2018, which shows that 95.1 percent of manufacturers have a positive outlook for their companies—an all-time record in the survey’s 20-year history—following enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The release of the survey results coincided with the six-month anniversary of tax reform, and follows a May survey that shows manufacturers are increasing wages, hiring, and capital investments in the wake of tax reform. Highlights from the Q2 survey include:

  • Optimism among manufacturers registered its highest level ever recorded (95.1 percent) in the 20-year history of the survey;
  • Optimism among medium-sized manufacturers registered its highest level ever recorded (95.8 percent) in the 20-year history of the survey;
  • All-time highs for projected employment growth and capital spending;
  • Projected wage growth registered its fastest pace in 17 years; and
  • Projected sales growth kept pace at its second-highest reading in survey history.

This record optimism is no accident. It is fueled by the game-changing tax reform passed six months ago, said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. Last year, manufacturers promised that we would deliver for our people and our communities if tax reform became law. Congress and the president delivered, and now manufacturers are keeping our promise: hiring new workers, raising wages, improving benefits, buying equipment and expanding right here in the United States. And the best part is, with manufacturers’ record-setting confidence and plans to keep hiring and growing, more good news is yet to come.

This afternoon, NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons will join congressional leadership in the U.S. Capitol for an event highlighting the survey results and marking the six-month anniversary of the enactment of tax reform. In addition, the NAM will deliver pocket cards with the new survey results to every member of the House and Senate.

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis for the past 20 years to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns.

The NAM releases these results to the public each quarter. Further information on the survey is available here.



The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit

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