Survey highlights headwinds to manufacturing growth

Manufacturers in the United States expect the economy and industrial production to grow by 3 percent or more in the coming year but are anxious about rising health care costs, a strong U.S. dollar and the West Coast ports slowdown, according to the latest NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers.

When asked about President Obama’s latest budget proposal that would increase estate taxes on small and medium-sized businesses, an overwhelming majority of respondents said a higher estate tax would negatively impact them, while almost half (48.0 percent) said the budget proposal would cause them to reduce investment in their business.

Among other key findings:

  • 68.3 percent of respondents said they are family-owned businesses that would be adversely affected by the President’s proposed changes to estate tax provisions.
  • 36.3 percent identified a strong U.S. dollar as a challenge for their business.
  • Numerous respondents singled out the West Coast ports slowdown as significantly impacting their business, with one manufacturer noting, “The West Coast ports situation is choking demand and increasing material costs.”

The NAM/IndustryWeek Survey of Manufacturers was conducted among the NAM’s membership of small, medium and large manufacturers. Click here for the NAM press release, and read more about the survey findings in the The Wall Street Journal.