Final Manufacturing Survey of 2020 Finds Cautious Optimism

National Association of Manufacturers (12/23/20)

Manufacturer optimism rose from its low in the second quarter brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a survey of manufacturers by the National Association of Manufacturers. In the fourth quarter, 74.2% of manufacturers felt positive about their own company’s outlook, up from 66% last quarter. The average was 90% in 2019. For the previous two quarters, weaker domestic demand topped the list of primary business challenges. In the fourth quarter, the inability to attract and retain talent lead as the primary current business challenge, cited by 62.4% of manufacturers. Prior to Covid-19, workforce challenges had been the main concern for 10 consecutive quarters.

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