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2023 Indiana Manufacturing Survey: Sailing in Troubled Waters

December 21, 2023

Manufacturing and Distribution Services Group

The results are in from the “2023 Indiana Manufacturing Survey: Sailing in Troubled Waters.” They reveal that inflation and the corresponding high interest rates are causing the state’s manufacturing industry to shift operations and future plans.

Conducted by Katz, Sapper & Miller in partnership with Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business Indianapolis and the Indiana Manufacturers Association, the survey shows one in four of the 80 Indiana-based manufacturing companies that participated expressed their current financial performance is challenged.

Companies are finding it difficult to maintain margins, hire labor on a steady basis, and deal with supply chain shortages because of significant inflation. A majority of respondents (55%) believe the economy will slip into a recession in 2024, which is making them overly cautious. For the first time in this annual survey’s history, the uncertainty is causing companies to forecast a decrease in current year (2023) revenues (-2%), profit margins (-3%), and capital expenditures (-5%) relative to the prior year (2022).

Forty-one percent (41%) of respondents indicated that the number of manufacturing jobs at their organization is increasing, and 45% say they expect the number of skilled jobs to increase due to the effects of advanced tech and automation. According to the results, companies plan to be conservative about future growth plans, like investing in new equipment or facilities.

Designed to provide insights into management choices made by manufacturing companies across Indiana, the annual survey – now in its 16th year – offers a better understanding of current market trends and best practices in the following categories:

  • Economic and Financial Performance
  • Perspectives on the U.S. Economy
  • Regulatory and Workforce Issues
  • Industry 4.0

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