2016 Manufacturers' Outlook Survey - First Quarter

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Manufacturers Polled

The NAM released its first quarter 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey showing that the sector continues to face significant headwinds.

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NAM Manufacturing Outlook Index


(Down from 40.7% in December)

Numbers greater than 50 suggest the manufacturing outlook is above average, coinciding with an expanding sector.

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Manufacturers’ 12 Month Outlook

Respondents Positive in Their Company's Outlook

(Down from 59.6% in December)

Arrow Green Up 0.4%


(Down from an increase of 1.4% in December)

Arrow Green Up 0.5%


(Down from an increase of 1.4% in December)

Arrow Red Down 0.6%


(Down from an increase of 0.02% in December)

Arrow Red Down 0.3%


(Down from an increase of 0.1% in December)

Arrow Green Up 0.02%


(Down from an increase of 0.3% in December)

Arrow Red Down 0.4%


(Down from an increase of 0.3% in December)

Arrow Red Down 1.5%


(Down from a decline of 0.7% in December)

Arrow Green Up 1.1%


(Down from an increase of 1.5% in December)

Arrow Green Up 7.6%


(Down from an increase of 8.0% in December)


Manufacturers on Current Business Challenges

The top business challenge was rising health insurance costs, cited by 73.9 percent of respondents. Manufacturers see health insurance costs increasing 7.6 percent over the next 12 months.

of those completing the NAM survey cited rising health insurance costs

Manufacturers on Monetary Policy

Given the current headwinds in the economy, more than 70 percent felt that the FOMC should be patient when it comes to short-term rate increases. This was up from 55.2 percent in the last survey. These respondents agreed that the Federal Reserve should wait until incoming data show sufficient progress before considering additional hikes. In contrast, 20.1 percent said that the process of normalization should continue, with the Federal Reserve continuing its rate hikes at the March meeting.

percent of respondents said felt that the FOMC should be patient when it comes to short-term rate increases. 

NAM’s Moutray Discusses 2016 First Quarter Outlook Survey

CNBC's Rick Santelli discusses the NAM’s 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey with NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray.


The NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly among the National Association of Manufacturers’ Membership of small, medium and large manufacturers. Contact us today to learn more about NAM Membership.

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  • 09/14/2016
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    The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of its third quarter 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, showing concerns over rising health care costs and regulatory compliance top the list of barriers to growth for manufacturers.
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    The NAM issued the first quarter results of its 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey today. The report shows a continued decline in sentiment among manufacturing executives and anxiety over the faltering global business climate.

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    NAM Survey: Manufacturers Continue to Feel Economic Challenges
    The National Association of Manufacturers’ (NAM) third quarter installment of its 2015 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey reveals that although two-thirds of manufacturers polled remain positive, economic and policy challenges continue to curb their optimism.
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