The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) today released the results of the Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey for the fourth quarter of 2017, showing manufacturers’ optimism has risen to unprecedented heights amid the legislative progress made on tax reform. With 94.6 percent of respondents saying they are positive about their own company’s outlook, this quarter’s optimism level is the highest in the survey’s 20-year history. Optimism has been at historically high levels throughout the year, averaging 91.8 percent in the four quarters of 2017, up from a 64.3 percent average in 2016.
Failure to enact tax reform would have serious ramifications for manufacturers, the survey also found, with nearly 60 percent of respondents saying they will lose opportunities to grow their businesses and more than 20 percent saying they will be unable to expand their facilities and hire new workers. An overwhelming two-thirds of manufacturers would consider a vote against tax reform as a vote against their businesses.