Manufacturers' Outlook Survey - Third Quarter

Manufacturers' Outlook Survey Page Header

Manufacturers Polled

The NAM released its third quarter 2015 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey revealing cautious optimism in the face of economic and policy challenges.

Download Full PDF Report

NAM Manufacturing Outlook Index



(Down from 51.8 in June)

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

Learn More About the Index

Small Manufacturers: 43.7 (Down from 55.0)
Medium-Sized Manufacturers: 47.4 (Down from 51.4)
Large Manufacturers: 43.9 (Down from 49.8)

Manufacturers’ 12 Month Outlook

Respondents Positive in Their Company's Outlook

(Down from 76.3% in June)

Arrow Green Up 2.0%


(Down from 2.7% in June)

Arrow Green Up 2.0%


(Down from 2.8% in June)

Arrow Red Down 0.1%


(Down from a gain of 0.4% in June)

Arrow Green Up 0.7%


(Down from 1.9% in June)

Arrow Green Up 0.5%


(Down from 0.8% in June)

Arrow Green Up 0.3%


(Down from 0.8% in June)

Arrow Red Down 0.7%


(Down from a decline of 0.1% in June)

Arrow Green Up 1.5%


(Down from 1.6% in June)

Arrow Green Up 8.7%


(Up from 7.9% in June)


Manufacturers on Monetary Policy


With general improvements to the economy as of late, there has been increased pressure for the Federal Reserve to start raising short-term interest rates, yet manufacturers remain cautious.

64% of manufacturers believe there are “still sufficient weaknesses in the U.S. economy, even with recent progress. [And] as such, the Fed should not be in a hurry to raise rates.”

Manufacturers on Overtime Regulations


The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has proposed to more than double the salary threshold for employees who are exempt from overtime pay. The current salary test is $23,660, and the Administration wants to increase this to $50,440 as of 2016.

of manufacturers said that they were concerned about the impact that the proposed overtime regulations would have on their business.

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.

Full PDF Report     Complete Dataset

  • 09/14/2016
    New Survey Results: Regulations, Health Care Costs Manufacturers’ Top Concerns
    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.
  • 06/16/2016
    Survey Says: Manufacturing Outlook Edges Up in Second Quarter
    NAM released the results of its second quarter 2016 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, showing an uptick in overall sentiment.
  • 03/09/2016
    NAM Survey: Business Leaders Remain Anxious in First Quarter

    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.

  • 12/08/2015
    NAM Survey: Economic Outlook Diminishes in Fourth Quarter
    The NAM released its fourth quarter 2015 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey today, revealing a five-point drop in the NAM Manufacturing Outlook Index and that manufacturers continue to cite an unfavorable business climate as their top business challenge.
  • 09/10/2015
    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.
  • 06/10/2015
    New Survey Shows Frustration Among Manufacturers
    The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released its updated Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey on Wednesday revealing an expected slowdown in exports, sharply highlighting the need for pro-growth policies like Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank.