Last updateThu, 22 Oct 2020 5pm

Report: 89% of Manufacturers Negatively Impacted by COVID-19

The global manufacturing and supply chain ecosystems have been among the hardest hit sectors by the COVID-19 pandemic. Fictiv’s newly released 2020 State of Manufacturing Report reveals industry leaders grappling with fallout from the pandemic while eyeing new opportunities created by the disruption.

Key findings include: 89% report a direct business impact because of COVID-19 including lower sales, increased costs of materials and production, and canceled or delayed product launches. Only 17% of respondents gave top marks to their supply chain’s performance over the last year. A majority of those polled are revisiting their reliance on China and looking to the U.S. as the next key manufacturing center.

Consumer Confidence Down Again This Month

Consumer sentiment retreated in the first half of July due to the widespread resurgence of the coronavirus. The promising gain recorded in June was reversed, leaving the Sentiment Index in early July insignificantly above the April low (+1.4 points).

According to the University of Michigan, declines are more likely in the months ahead as the coronavirus spreads and causes continued economic harm, social disruptions, and permanent scarring.

U.S. Industrial Production Up 5.4%, Factory Output Up 7.2%

Total industrial production rose 5.4% in June after increasing 1.4% in May; even so, it remained 10.9% below its pre-pandemic February level. Manufacturing output increased 7.2% in June, but it was still 11.1% below its pre-pandemic February level; factory output fell 47.0% at an annual rate in the second quarter. The index for durable manufacturing rose 11.6% in June.

U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Decreased in May

U.S. manufacturing technology orders decreased 5% in May from the previous month to $219.4 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). New orders were 45% lower than in May 2019, and total orders through May 2020 were $1.3 billion, 31% lower than year-to-date 2019 orders.

“We had predicted that growth in the manufacturing technology sector would be flat in the first half of 2020; however, it is down about 30% due to the impact of the pandemic on the global manufacturing industry,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “While the aerospace, defense, housing, and infrastructure sectors did better in May, growth has been uneven across industries. The automobile sector is down, and spending on medical supplies has leveled off. Significantly, very high business and consumer savings rates indicate a lack of confidence in the economy, and industry economic forecasters predict the manufacturing industry will be down about 50% before it begins to rebound in the last quarter of this year or in early 2021.”

Senator Proposes Hub to Coordinate National Manufacturing Policy

U.S. Senator Gary Peters (D-MI) introduced legislation that would establish an independent federal institute — the National Institute of Manufacturing — to serve as the hub for federal manufacturing programs that would be led by a Chief Manufacturing Officer responsible for creating and implementing a National Strategic Plan for Manufacturing across the executive branch. The National Institute of Manufacturing Act would coordinate federal manufacturing programs across multiple agencies in order to better address both short-term supply chain issues caused by the Coronavirus pandemic and longer-term problems related to a lack of a national manufacturing strategy and accountability for implementing a strategy.

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