The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released its updated Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey on Wednesday revealing an expected slowdown in exports, sharply highlighting the need for pro-growth policies like Trade Promotion Authority (TPA) and a long-term reauthorization of the Export-Import (Ex-Im) Bank. NAM Chief Economist Chad Moutray also unveiled the Manufacturing Outlook Index, a new quarterly indicator that will track the changes in manufacturing economic data over time.
“Manufacturers continue to face headwinds in both domestic markets and in the global economy,” Moutray said. “As exports continue to slow, Congress should seize the opportunity to advance Trade Promotion Authority legislation that would open up new markets around the world. Manufacturers of all sizes are also counting on policymakers to advance a long-term Ex-Im reauthorization as soon as possible.”
Additional key survey findings include:
- Manufacturing optimism has dropped 15 percent since December—More than three-quarters of respondents (76 percent) felt somewhat or very positive about their own company’s outlook (down from 91.2 percent in December 2014).
- Export growth is expected to remain sluggish—Exports are expected to rise by only 0.4 percent over the next 12 months, and 55 percent of respondents predict no change in export growth in the coming year.
- Ozone regulation could hamper new construction—Close to 80 percent of respondents indicated they would likely not proceed or were uncertain about proceeding with new construction or major modifications in an area if they learned that it did not comply with the federal ozone standards.
- U.S. fiscal issues impact business—Nearly all respondents (95.5 percent) said it was important for policymakers to address the nation’s fiscal challenges. Respondents overwhelmingly (92 percent) suggested reforming the U.S. tax code as a top solution for reducing the deficit.