Manufacturers’ top business concerns continue to be rising raw material prices and attracting and retaining talent, according to the NAM’s newly released Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2021.

Sunny days ahead: However, manufacturers predicted some of the highest growth in the survey’s history. Among the highlights:

  • 90.1% manufacturer optimism, highest since Q3 2018
  • 3.7% expected growth in full-time employment, a record high
  • 6.1% expected growth in sales over the next 12 months, a record high
  • 5.9% expected growth in production over the next 12 months, a record high

Tempered optimism: “Manufacturers see an incredible future on the horizon and are predicting growth numbers unheard of in the more than two-decade history of this survey. But yet, a dark cloud still hangs over the industry,” said NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons. “Manufacturers face long-term workforce challenges, with a record-high 851,000 open manufacturing jobs right now and more than 4 million to be filled over the next decade.”