WASHINGTON — A survey from the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) and IndustryWeek shows manufacturers are showing the highest level of business optimism since late 2012.

The survey showed 86.1 percent of respondents were either somewhat positive or very positive about their company’s outlook, the highest sign of manufacturer confidence since the fiscal cliff debate of 2012.

Despite this uptick in optimism, the survey also stated the government continues to be the major source of the burdens facing manufacturers. The top business challenge, cited by 79 percent of respondents, was an unfavorable business climate due to taxes, regulations, and government uncertainties, including Washington’s inability to solve problems. Rising health care and insurance costs followed closely behind with uncertainties attributed mostly to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

“Manufacturers in America are making more products today and making them better than ever before, which is why they believe in a bright future of growth and job creation,” said Chad Moutray, chief economist, NAM. “However, Washington’s burdensome regulatory, tax, and health care policies still loom large in manufacturers’ business decisions, particularly for the smallest companies. Manufacturers are prepared to make the investments that will jumpstart our economy, but we need Washington to work with us, not against us.”

Publication date: 5/12/2014

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