Fewer manufacturers and distributors say they’re more optimistic about the U.S. economy than the previous year. The number of manufacturers saying they’re more optimistic about the U.S. economy fell to 66 percent, down from 75 percent last year. In addition, 11 percent of respondents say they’re “less optimistic” about the U.S. economy, up from 5 percent last year.
However, respondents indicate they’re more optimistic about the global economy. The reasons for declining optimism in the U.S. could be related to various factors, including trade policies and the ongoing workforce shortage. Tariffs ordered on steel and aluminum imports could create some winners and losers.
The uncertainty is another reason why organizations must implement technologies and strategies that increase efficiency and competitiveness. This includes IoT, robotics and other smart technologies as well as proactive talent development approaches. Investment in product development will also be critical to attract new markets. Consultants with expertise in trade, finance and human capital can help manufacturers develop strategies to meet competitive challenges in 2018 and beyond.
To learn more about the industry sentiment for M&D, download our 2018 M&D Report.