Schneider Downs, one of the 60 largest certified public accounting and business advisory firms in the United States, recently published the third annual analysis of its Manufacturers’ Economic Survey. The survey was used to assess the challenges faced by manufacturing organizations and to identify growth opportunities within the industry. Schneider Downs issued the survey to manufacturers across the United States, representing a variety of industries, with a distribution of small, medium and large organizations.
Respondents of the survey saw an increase in employment opportunities in 2013 and are hopeful that trend carries into the New Year; however, as uncertainty still surrounds the U.S. economy and the current administration’s fiscal policies, manufacturers remain just cautiously optimistic heading into 2014.
Additionally, respondents are expecting a modest increase in customer demand, much of which is expected to come from overseas. Manufacturers anticipate sales to slightly increase in 2014, largely due to the identification of these new market opportunities. Many respondents also noted that 2013’s results were fiscally better than anticipated. The hope is that momentum will carry into 2014.
While survey results yielded a positive forecast for 2014, increasing health care and energy costs and government regulations still serve as the primary concerns of many manufacturers.