End of Year Economic Report 2021
- In the latest NAM Manufacturers Outlook Survey, 86.8% of respondents felt either somewhat or very positive about their company outlook in the fourth quarter, down only slightly from 87.5% in the third quarter. While many of the key measures pulled back somewhat, expected growth rates remained solid. With a strong labor market, respondents anticipate employee wages rising at the fastest pace in the survey’s history, at 3.8% on average over the next 12 months.
- The top primary business challenges for the fourth quarter included rising raw material costs (87.1%), supply chain challenges (84.5%), the inability to attract and retain a quality workforce (82.7%), transportation and logistics costs (73.1%) and rising health care and insurance costs (50.7%).
- On the topic of workforce, 85.2% had unfilled positions within their companies for which they were struggling to find qualified applicants. Without having enough workers, nearly 45% of respondents were unable to take on new business and had lost revenue opportunities.
- Those completing the survey were asked when they expect supply chain disruptions to abate, and 53.6% anticipate these disruptions to improve in 2022, with 38.8% suggesting that it would be in the second half of next year.
- The U.S. economy grew 2.3% at the annual rate in the third quarter. Manufacturing value-added output increased to $2.571 trillion, an all-time high, with record levels for both durable and nondurable goods. Manufacturing accounted for 11.1% of real GDP in the third quarter.
- Real GDP should rebound in the fourth quarter, with 6.5% growth expected. For 2021, the forecast
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