Midwest Manufacturers’ Optimism on the Rise

SCHAUMBURG, IL – The October results of the monthly TMA Midwest Manufacturers’ Outlook Report are in, and they paint a clear picture showing Illinois’ manufacturers are increasingly optimistic about the national economy.

The Midwest Manufacturers’ Outlook, which had cratered to 20% in April, has regained its two year high of 80%, and expected sales growth improved to 68%, the highest mark in over a year.

TMA President Steve Rauschenberger said, “Our manufacturers adapted to the COVID-19 reality very quickly and it should come as no surprise. They run the highest tech and safest facilities in the world and they’ve protected their employees well during the pandemic. We expect continued bumps in the road during this pandemic, but our members are confident they can weather the storm as long as Springfield politicians don’t derail their progress yet again.”

Rauschenberger pointed to a key weakness in these numbers. While manufacturer optimism in the national economy is rightfully growing, optimism remains low in the Illinois economy. Only 24% of manufacturers are optimistic about the Illinois economy.

During this summer, we began tracking what has become, and remains, the biggest pain point for manufacturers—the negative impacts of COVID-19. Nearly half of TMA member manufacturers feel that the pandemic is the biggest “pain point” for their companies, followed by a lack of skilled workers.

Dennis LaComb, TMA’s Vice President of Government Relations said, “Our members are navigating the complications of the pandemic effectively, though the governor isn’t making their lives any easier. But even while Springfield politicians make things more difficult for Illinois manufacturers, our members are growing increasingly optimistic because of the strength of the national economy under a pro-manufacturing administration. Illinois policy makers would take note: our local manufacturers make some of the most vital parts of the world’s high-tech supply chain, and they should be doing everything they can to incentivize them to continue producing.”

Started in January of 2018, the TMA Midwest Outlook Report is a monthly survey taken of TMA’s members to track the opinions of Illinois manufacturers. A random sample of TMA’s thousand members are surveyed live each month.