Manufacturer Survey: Elections Delaying Some Companies' Spending Plans - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

Manufacturer Survey: Elections Delaying Some Companies’ Spending Plans

Latest Prime Advantage report finds manufacturers are optimistic, but elections are causing some to put off plans to invest.

Manufacturers are reporting healthy revenue projections, and strong hiring and capital spending plans, according to the semi-annual Group Outlook Survey from Prime Advantage, a buying consortium for mid-sized manufacturers.

\"TheDownload a Free Chapter:
The Little Black Book of Strategic Planning for Distributors

Submit your email address below to receive a chapter of Brent Grover’s new book. When you submit your email you will be signed up to receive weekly distribution news updates.


However, for a small portion of respondents these plans may see delays due to uncertainty about the results of the federal elections. (Learn more about what’s driving uncertainty in the most recent Executive Briefing from MDM.)

The survey found that nearly half of respondents expect their revenues to increase in the second half of 2012, compared with 40 percent in the second half of 2011 and 36 percent in 2010. An overall increase in customer demand was named as the primary driver of the revenue growth in nearly 60 percent of cases. A third said introduction of new product lines was the main driver.

Capital spending is set to increase for one-third of polled companies in the second half of 2012, an upward trend from a year ago, when only one-quarter of respondents budgeted an increase in capital spending.

Overall, 90 percent of polled companies plan to keep or increase the number of domestic employees, and 39 percent expect to fill open positions in 2012, which are higher rates when compared to the same period a year ago. On average, more medium-sized manufacturing companies expect to hire in the second half of 2012 (39 percent) as compared to the same period in 2011 (36 percent).

When asked to indicate the top three cost pressures causing the most concern, respondents most frequently cited the cost of raw materials. However, for the past three surveys, manufacturers have expressed lessening concern about raw material costs, relative to other cost pressures, with only 76 percent of respondents including raw materials in their top three choices this time (down from 81 percent in the first half 2012 survey and 96 percent in the same period last year).

Yet over the past year, respondents have expressed more intense concern about cost pressure from healthcare benefits. The cost of medical care was voted the second greatest cost concern for manufacturers by nearly 60 percent of respondents. Only a year ago, concerns about healthcare costs were in fourth place.

Of those who hold an opinion about whether the uncertainty with federal elections will cause a delay to business processes, 29 percent and 33 percent are seeing delays in employment and capital spending respectively. The survey asked respondents about the level of impact the outcome of the Presidential election could have on the economy and unemployment. A majority, 55 percent, believed the impact on the economy would be felt greatly and 43 percent predicted an impact on unemployment.

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.