NAM Survey: Tax Reform Is “Rocket Fuel” for Manufacturers

President Trump Highlights First Quarter Results Showing Tax Cuts Fueling Optimism and Growth

Washington, D.C. – The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the first quarter of 2018, which shows many key indicators for the sector’s economic health at record highs following enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

The release of the survey results coincided with a tax reform event in the Rose Garden of the White House, where President Donald Trump touted the new data showing manufacturers’ positive economic outlook. In his address to the NAM’s board meeting in September 2017, President Trump predicted tax reform would be “rocket fuel” for the economy. Highlights from the survey include:

  • Optimism among manufacturers registered its second-highest level ever recorded (93.5 percent) in the 20-year history of the survey;
  • Optimism among small manufacturers registered its highest level ever recorded (94.5 percent) in the 20-year history of the survey;
  • All-time highs for projected employment growth, capital spending and inventories;
  • Projected wage growth registered its fastest pace in 17 years; and
  • Projected sales growth registered its second-highest reading in the 20-year history of the survey.
“Empowered by tax reform and regulatory relief, manufacturers are now investing in our people through new jobs, higher wages, bonuses and growing our operations right here in the United States,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “We’re delivering on our promises—despite what the doubters, deniers and detractors said. To keep this momentum going, to take us to the next level, manufacturers now want to see action on infrastructure, further regulatory relief and more opportunities to sell our products overseas. Manufacturers are proving that when the President and lawmakers deliver on policy, we will deliver for the American people.”

Conducted by NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray, the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey has surveyed the association’s membership of 14,000 large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis for the past 20 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 here.


The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) is the largest manufacturing association in the United States, representing small and large manufacturers in every industrial sector and in all 50 states. Manufacturing employs more than 12 million men and women, contributes $2.25 trillion to the U.S. economy annually, has the largest economic impact of any major sector and accounts for more than three-quarters of private-sector research and development. The NAM is the powerful voice of the manufacturing community and the leading advocate for a policy agenda that helps manufacturers compete in the global economy and create jobs across the United States. For more information about the Manufacturers or to follow us on Shopfloor, Twitter and Facebook, please visit