Latest NAM Survey Shows Manufacturers Expect Slowdown

By November 21, 2008Economy

The Latest NAM/Industry Week Manufacturing Index shows that confidence among large manufacturers eroded for a fifth consecutive quarter in the third quarter of 2008, with just 21% saying they had a positive business outlook. This marks the lowest confidence level in the history of the survey going back to the fourth quarter of 1997.

For small manufacturers, the business outlook moderated for a third consecutive quarter to its lowest level since the fourth quarter of 2002, but it remained significantly elevated compared to large survey respondents.

Asked if the U.S. economy would go through a recession, just 14% answered “no.” 

Respondents’ comments:

  • “All of 2009 and first half of 2010.”
  • “Because of the downturn in auto sales and housing we’ve experienced a 25% reduction in our backlog.”
  • “There is a good chance that manufacturing will be spared the worst of it.”
  • “Incoming orders are way down since August.”
  • “It will if the U.S. implements protectionist trade policies that other nations retaliate against.”
  • “We are already in a recession and worsening.”
  • “Depends on the ultimate solution to the current credit”


Asked if tightening lending standards had limiting their company’s access to capital needed to finance domestic investment expenditures, nearly a fifth (18%) of survey respondents said “yes.”

Respondents’ comments:

  • “Talking to more banks and alternate financing sources.”
  • “Our capital improvements are based off of profits and cash, not borrowing.”
  • “My biggest concern with tightening credit is the collection of accounts receivable.”
  • “Hasn’t had a negative impact yet, but we’re not counting it out.”
  • “Our bank terminated all of our loans and we almost could not find another bank who was taking new customers.”
  • “We just had our bank not renew our line of credit even though we had not used it in over one year.”
  • “Will find out in the next six months.”
  • “We have great credit and we bank with small, home town bankers who know us.”



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