Prime Advantage (primeadvantage.com/surveys), a leading group purchasing organization for midsized manufacturers, announced the findings of its ninth edition of the CFO Survey, revealing the financial projections and top concerns of industrial manufacturing companies. The results show that optimism in manufacturing among the group's Members is at its highest levels since the annual survey’s inception.
Summary of Findings
A survey record high of 71% of members are more optimistic about their companies’ financial prospects for the coming year as compared to last. This result is a 17-point jump from 2016, the largest year-over-year increase in optimism since 2010, when manufacturers were eagerly anticipating the Great Recession would soon end.
Faith in the U.S. economy has absolutely skyrocketed compared to last year, as 74% of financial executives are more optimistic than they were at this time last year. This 48-point catapult over 2016 is by far the largest increase for this category since the survey began.
Hiring qualified talent continues to be a top concern for manufacturing companies in 2017. Sixty-seven percent of members are expecting to increase their headcount this year, however 78% are also struggling to fill open positions.
Member companies continue to project fiscal health for the coming year, crediting new product lines, new customer acquisitions, and an overall increase in customer demand. Expectations are high as 84% are stating that revenues will increase in 2017. A survey history low of only 2% expect a decline, a nine-point drop over the previous year.
Hopes for New U.S. President and Congress
With respect to the most realistic and actionable ways the White House administration and Congress can help businesses, 94% of CFOs cited comprehensive tax reform as one of the top three tactics government could use.
"The results of our 2017 CFO Survey indicate great confidence in manufacturing among our Members, along with the most positive view of the U.S. economy that we have recorded in years," says Dan Grant, president of Prime Advantage. "The supply chain partnerships and strategic resources created by Prime Advantage and our network of endorsed suppliers look to help our Members reach these soaring expectations.
In December 2016, Prime Advantage surveyed financial executives and leaders from Member companies, with annual revenues ranging between $10 million and $4 billion, of which the majority ranges between $20 million and $500 million. The survey respondents are top professionals representing U.S.-based manufacturers in more than 25 different industries, including commercial foodservice equipment, packaging, truck and trailer, material handling, food processing and construction equipment.
Prime Advantage has polled its Members for their impressions of current economic conditions since February 2008.