‘Record Optimism’: Over 95 Percent of Manufacturers Positive About the Future

June 20, 2018 Last Updated: June 20, 2018

Optimism about the future for manufacturing companies in the United States has hit an all-time record.

A new survey from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) found that 95.1 percent of manufacturers have a “positive outlook” about their own companies. That’s the highest rate recorded since the survey was first introduced in the fourth quarter of 1997, over 20 years ago.

The record result comes six months after the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act sparked the economy in December last year and follows a whirlwind of other positive news on increasing wages, hiring, and capital investments.

“This record optimism is no accident. It is fueled by the game-changing tax reform passed six months ago,” NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons said.

“Congress and the president delivered, and now manufacturers are keeping our promise: hiring new workers, raising wages, improving benefits, buying equipment, and expanding right here in the United States. And the best part is, with manufacturers’ record-setting confidence and plans to keep hiring and growing, more good news is yet to come.”

In fact, those who have been completing the survey have been averaging an upbeat 92.6 percent outlook for their companies in the past six quarters. Spurred on by the tax reform, manufacturers have promised to hire more workers, creating more jobs and putting more money back into the pockets of workers.

The NAM also credits the historic numbers from other policy changes by the Trump administration that sought to reduce unnecessary regulatory burdens and introduced pro-growth policies. Trump has set a record in cutting red tape; the Obama administration alone increased the nation’s regulatory burden by more than $122 billion annually.

“Our economy is perhaps better than it has ever been.” Trump wrote in a June 17 tweet. “Companies doing really well, and moving back to America, and jobs numbers are the best in 44 years.”

At the same time, the Manufacturing Outlook Index also rose to an all-time high of 63.8, making it the seventh straight quarter when the outlook exceeded the survey’s historical average.

But it’s not just the manufacturing and economic sector that has been seeing record numbers. American satisfaction with the way things are currently going in the United States has reached the highest level since September 2005.

According to a Gallup poll released June 18, 38 percent of Americans are satisfied, marking a 12-year high. It’s also the second month in a row when the satisfaction rate has been above 35 percent.

Record unemployment levels not seen since 2000 and the economic expansion that is now the second-longest on record—all set in motion by Trump’s economic policies—could help explain the historic approval numbers.

 

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