The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) reported their ninth consecutive quarter of record industry optimism, with an average of 91.8 percent of members feeling positive about the current state of business, in the Q1 2019 Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey. Buoyed by tax and regulatory reform, over 77 percent of respondents expect to increase company sales by at least 5 percent in the next year.

However, manufacturers’ top business challenge across all sectors remains the longstanding inability to attract and retain a quality workforce within tight labor markets and a widening skills gap. The latest survey also noted concerns about increased raw material prices, insufficient infrastructure, trade uncertainties and transportation costs.

NAM leadership is focused on securing congressional support and robust federal investments as part of a roadmap for continued industry growth and success.

Manufacturing in the United States is on the rise, and manufacturers are confident about the future. Empowered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers are investing in our communities and in our people. But to keep up this momentum, we have to get serious about infrastructure investment and attracting, recruiting and training our people for the high-tech, high-paying modern manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow. As laid out in the NAM’s ‘Building to Win’ blueprint, a bold infrastructure plan will help secure American prosperity, job creation and our leadership in the world.

–NAM President and CEO Jay Timmons 

The NAM Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey is conducted quarterly among the National Association of Manufacturers’ membership of small, medium and large manufacturers across the country. Read the full report at

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