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Manufacturers Concerned of Recession Threat in 2023

Jan. 9, 2023
According to a survey conducted by NAM, more than 62% of manufacturing leaders believe the U.S. economy will slip officially into a recession in 2023.

The National Association of Manufacturers released its Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2022. According to a press release from NAM, the survey illustrates manufacturers’ concerns around a challenging economic environment characterized by inflation, supply chain disruption, and the workforce crisis. The NAM conducted the survey from Nov. 29 to Dec. 13, 2022.

Key Findings:

  • More than 62% of manufacturing leaders believed that the U.S. economy would slip officially into a recession in 2023.
  • More than three-quarters of respondents (75.7%) listed attracting and retaining a quality workforce as a primary business challenge, with supply chain challenges (65.7%) and increased raw material costs (60.7%) the next biggest impediments.
  • Even in a recession, manufacturers plan to do the following: capital spending on new equipment and technological investments (65.3%), upskilling and training of existing workforce (64.1%), seeing solid demand for their company’s products (63.2%), hiring new employees (55.1%), investing in research and development (52.1%), and spending on new structures and existing facilities (38.6%).
  • More than three-quarters of respondents (75.8%) said pushing back against regulatory overreach should be the top priority of the 118th Congress. Other priorities included supporting increased domestic energy production (69.3%), passing comprehensive immigration reform (65.4%), maintaining and permanently extending tax reform (63.0%), controlling rising health care costs (55.5%), addressing the skills gap facing manufacturers (50.5%) and modernizing permitting to reduce red tape (40.0%).

Due to the consistent economic headwinds, manufacturers’ confidence has declined, with 68.9% of respondents having a positive outlook for their company, the lowest since the third quarter of 2020.

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 manufacturers of all sizes on a quarterly basis for the past 25 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 on the NAM's website

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