Manufacturers Bullish on Expected Sales and Capital Spending

Contrasted with Vast Majority Who Say Washington Is on the Wrong Track

Manufacturers are bullish about the future, projecting both the largest increase in capital spending as well as the largest uptick in expected sales in more than two years, according to the latest National Association of Manufacturers (NAM)/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers. This optimism is counterbalanced with the survey results showing palpable frustration with the direction of the country as well as concerns over regulatory, tax and health care policies coming from Washington. Key survey findings include the following:


  • Manufacturers plan to increase their capital investment by 2.3 percent over the next 12 months, the highest figure in more than two years.
  • Manufacturers expect sales to increase 4.1 percent over the next 12 months, the highest figure in more than two years.
  • 72.7 percent of respondents cite rising health care and insurance costs as a primary business challenge.
  • 71.4 percent of respondents cite taxes, regulations and government uncertainties as a primary business challenge.
  • 79.3 percent of respondents said that the country was on the “wrong track.”


“Manufacturing in America is making a comeback both in output and outlook,” said NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray. “However, manufacturers’ optimism is quickly tempered by frustrations with the political process and concerns over Washington’s burdensome regulatory, tax and health care policies. These frustrations consistently loom large with manufacturers and are often the driver behind decisions to continue growth and investment.”

The NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers was conducted among the NAM’s membership of small, medium and large manufacturers. Click herefor the full survey results. The NAM’s Growth Agenda contains policies to keep manufacturing competitive. Click here to learn more.