American manufacturers are growing increasingly confident in the economy, with a survey out on Tuesday showing nearly two consecutive years of record optimism.
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) released the results of its latest survey, which covers the first quarter of 2019.
The survey showed that manufacturers have reported record optimism for nine consecutive quarters.
President Donald Trump has done a lot to improve the economy over that time — including tax cuts, regulatory reform, and the reworking of trade deals.
“Manufacturing in the United States is on the rise, and manufacturers are confident about the future,” NAM President Jay Timmons said in a statement.
“Empowered by tax reform and regulatory certainty, manufacturers are investing in our communities and in our people.”
The NAM spring board of directors meeting is taking place in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Vice President Mike Pence talked at the meeting about the importance of manufacturing and what the administration is doing to help the sector. Timmons highlighted a few ideas that could help build on those successes.
“To keep up this momentum, we have to get serious about infrastructure investment and attracting, recruiting and training our people for the high-tech, high-paying modern manufacturing jobs of today and tomorrow,” Timmons said.
“A bold infrastructure plan will help secure American prosperity, job creation and our leadership in the world.”
The NAM survey found that, on average, 91.8 percent of manufacturers were positive about their own company’s outlook during those nine quarters.
That compared to an average of 68.6 percent between 2015 and 2016. But concerns about the national infrastructure continue to rise, with more than 77 percent saying infrastructure threatens their competitiveness.
The survey also found that manufacturers remained concerned about their inability to attract and retain a quality workforce.
NAM has found that the workforce shortage has forced more than one in four manufacturers surveyed to turn down new business opportunities.
The economy has improved significantly since President Trump began implementing his agenda. Trump has overseen trends such as an increased employment rate and higher economic growth, though those areas were already improving  as he entered office. But the trends continued to improve under his watch.
NAM has surveyed its 14,000 members from both large and small manufacturers on a quarterly basis since 1997.
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