The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the second quarter of 2019. In the field during the prospects of tariffs on Mexican goods and still unresolved threat of 232 auto tariffs, the survey shows a dip in manufacturers’ optimism amid trade uncertainties. A positive outlook for their business was registered by 79.8% of manufacturers in the second quarter, down from 89.5% in the first quarter.
The inability to attract and retain a quality workforce remained manufacturers’ top business concern (68.8%) in the second quarter. The survey also found that a majority of manufacturers (56%) are concerned about trade uncertainties with regards to the USMCA, a U.S.-China trade agreement, looming 232 auto tariffs and the now-resolved threat of U.S. tariffs on Mexico. In addition, nearly half of manufacturers are concerned about increased raw material prices.