Majority of Iowa Manufacturers Still Expect Increased Sales and Investments in Their Businesses in the Next Quarter  

Mike Ralston

Latest survey reflects ongoing supply chain and workforce challenges

DES MOINES, Iowa – Despite ongoing challenges with supply chains and workforce issues, Iowa manufacturers remain optimistic about increased sales and plan to invest in their businesses in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Quarterly Business Survey. 

ABI surveyed its board in late August. Seventy (70) percent of respondents expect to see sales expand in the next quarter. This is down from 79 percent in the previous quarter. Nearly 56 percent of respondents also said they expect the number of employees in their business to grow, down from 72 percent in the previous quarter. Results also show 76 percent of respondents plan to make capital expenditures in the next quarter, an increase from 75 percent in the previous quarter. 

“It is reassuring to see Iowa manufacturers planning to make capital investments in their business,” ABI President Mike Ralston said. “However, our manufacturing companies continue to face supply chain and workforce challenges. ABI is a supporter of Manufacturing 4.0 initiatives. Investments in automation and smart technology will help Iowa manufacturers remain competitive and can address the ongoing issues in the industry.”

On a national level, companies are also maintaining a positive outlook. According to the National Association of Manufacturers latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 87.5 percent of respondents feel optimistic about their company outlook. 

ABI leads the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign called Elevate Iowa. Elevate Iowa strives to equip both educators and students with resources they need to promote and connect with careers in the advanced manufacturing industry.  ABI’s manufacturing leaders will meet this month for its sixth annual Legends in Manufacturing dinner, as well as its Advanced Manufacturing Conference. The events, from September 28-29, will highlight best practices for manufacturing companies, such as Manufacturing 4.0, data security and building a workplace for the future.

Approximately half of ABI’s 1,500-member companies are manufacturers. ABI represents nearly every industry in the state of Iowa.

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