A majority of Iowa manufacturers expect to make capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest quarterly business survey by Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI).
The survey was sent to ABI board members in late November.
Survey results show 67% of respondents plan to make capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2023, representing a slight increase from the fourth quarter of 2022.
In addition, 23% of respondents expect sales to expand in the first quarter of the new year, a 15% decrease from the fourth quarter of 2022. A total of 47% expect sales to stay about the same in the first quarter of 2023.
The report on the manufacturers survey by the Iowa ABI also showed 67% of respondents expect the number of employees in their businesses to stay about the same. Only 8% expect the number of employees to decrease.
In the same survey a year ago, 76% of respondents expected sales to increase in the first quarter of 2022, and 50% expected their employment level to stay about the same.
Despite the new year approaching, longstanding barriers persist, ABI officials say.
“Employers are continuing to face supply chain challenges and workforce shortages, while, in some cases, backlogs remain substantial,” said ABI president Mike Ralston. “And we note that many have the possibility of a recession in the back of their minds.”
Yet as seen in the survey results, many manufacturers are still choosing to make significant investments in automation as a solution to these barriers.
“In true Iowa fashion, our state’s manufacturers are rising to the challenges facing them,” Mr. Ralston said. “ABI looks forward to assisting members as they make these investments and bring new solutions to their facilities.”
Approximately half of ABI’s 1,500 member companies are manufacturers. ABI represents nearly every industry in the state of Iowa.
For previous survey results, resources for manufacturers and events on automation, including an upcoming summit on cobot automation, go to.iowaabi.org.
The Iowa Association of Business and Industry has represented Iowa business since 1903. Its membership is comprised of 1,500 member companies in all 99 counties employing more than 330,000 Iowans.