What does 2015 look like for Manufacturers?
An article posted by Industry Week revealed that almost 73% of respondents polled in the 2014 fourth quarter Survey of Manufacturers believe the US is on the wrong track. The survey also indicated that manufacturers continue to be frustrated with the political environment.
The top issues manufacturers have with Washington are regulatory burdens, entitlement spending growth, tax reforms, health care costs and the inability to find a long-term federal budget deal.
Beyond manufactures’ concerns with the government landscape, they listed their top business challenges as being as follows: rising health care costs, unfavorable business climate, attracting and retaining quality employees, weak domestic economy, rising energy and material costs, and weaker global growth.
Despite their frustrations and challenges, manufacturers do believe that the future is looking bright in 2015! 91% of manufacturers are optimistic about 2015, compared to only 78% in quarter 4 of 2013. The last time the outlook measure was 91% or better was the fourth quarter of 2005.
The real GDP and industrial production for 2015 are both anticipated to expand by 3% throughout the year. In addition, over the past 12 months (survey of quarter four in 2013), respondents have expected sales to grow by 4.5%, investments to improve by 2.3% and employment to increase by 2.1%, on average.
As you can see, manufacturing output is predicted to accelerate over the next two quarters, growing by 3.2%. This graph is very encouraging for industry, as production is predicted to be at its highest since the survey begin in 1997.
While it is hard to look past our economy’s rising interest rates, tax and regulatory uncertainties, and other economic challenges we are facing, let’s conquer these challenges together and make 2015 the successful year we know it can be!