The Institute for Supply Management (ISM) said that the U.S. manufacturing industry expanded for the 17th month in a row after rising last month, which further supported growing optimism within the sector. If you have thought about whether or not to hire a custom software development firm to improve your digital resources, then January’s growth in manufacturing could serve as a good enough reason.
An ISM report showed that 14 out of the 18 manufacturing industries expanded in January. Overall, the industry posted a reading of 59.1. A score above 50 indicates growth, which only suggested that the previous month’s increase represented a strong level of industrial activity.
The recent tax reforms in the country will also prompt almost two-thirds of manufacturing companies to increase their budget for equipment and facilities, according to Jay Timmons, CEO of the National Association of Manufacturers. Digital manufacturing has become the norm recently, due to cost-savings and faster turnaround times. Investments in custom software for manufacturing also allows companies to stay competitive.
More than half of U.S. manufacturing companies plan to raise salaries and benefits, which should attract more job applicants. Wage growth, however, remains a key factor why the industry still struggles to find qualified talents. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, wages and salaries rose to 2.5 percent in December 2017.
Timothy Fiore, ISM chairman for the manufacturing business survey committee, said that new orders and production led the industry’s constant expansion. A slower employment growth rate, however, should be their focus now that optimism continues to grow among U.S. manufacturers. This makes sense if the industry wants to continue its long-standing growth streak.
Manufacturers need to take advantage of favorable economic conditions by reinforcing their equipment, facilities, and manpower. What is your growth strategy for 2018?