The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has released its first Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey since President Donald Trump took office, and the one-word summary is “optimism.”
Following the third consecutive month of manufacturing growth, NAM notes, the survey shows a dramatic shift in sentiment, with more than 93% of manufacturers feeling positive about their economic outlook. This is the highest in the survey’s 20-year history, up from 56.6% one year ago and 77.8% in December.
“Across America, manufacturers’ optimism is soaring, in no small part because of President Trump’s laser-like focus on pursuing bold action, particularly on rethinking red tape to address regulatory reform, to accelerate a jobs surge in America,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said in a statement.
Timmons said manufacturers “of all sizes are now less concerned about the business climate going forward because they are counting on President Trump to deliver results.”
He continued: “Small manufacturers — more than 90 percent of our membership — are among the hardest hit by regulatory obstacles. Regulatory costs for small manufacturers with fewer than 50 employees total almost $35,000 per employee per year — money that could otherwise go to creating jobs. It’s encouraging to see an administration so focused on providing regulatory relief to spur manufacturing growth.”
The survey shows not only a positive outlook but also that concerns about the business environment have dropped. When manufacturers were asked to identify top challenges to their business, concerns about the business environment fell to third place. This had previously been respondents’ top concern since the question was added to the survey in 2011.
For the past 20 years, NAM has surveyed its membership of more than 14,000 large and small manufacturers to gain insight into their economic outlook, hiring and investment decisions and business concerns. The NAM releases these results to the public each quarter.