The survey respondents from the recent Panjiva and Global Sourcing Council report are optimistic about the general economic outlook for 2012 as well as volume trends with 76% believing the economic "will fare 'the same as 2011' to 'much stronger than 2011' and 71% are themselves expecting to spend as much or more in 2012 over 2011." Looking at the other side of the supply/demand equation, MFG.com publishes the MFGWatch manufacturing survey, which recently queried 250 smaller manufacturers (almost entirely "job shops") in the US to better understand the impact of similar trends, on a re-shoring basis, that Panjiva and the Global Sourcing Council looked at more broadly and globally.
Curious, what stands out in the US MFG.com data is the level of optimism of US small domestic manufacturers when it comes to sales and profits in 2012. Of those surveyed, 78.5% reported they were optimistic about 2012. MetalMiner, Spend Matters' sister site, traded notes with MFG.com's Mitch Free, who noted when looking at the data that despite the positive signs, "many job shops 'continue to struggle to find skilled workers', and are 'frustrated that the government isn't doing more to help small business.' They also find credit still very hard to get, and 'finding the customers who are re-shoring manufacturing work so they can get contracts' [is challenging]."
In considering the MFG.com data, MetalMiner also reports:
- While a big concentration of respondents told MFG.com that they're running at between 70 and 80 percent capacity, the trend is "in the right direction," Free said, and "job shops are reporting running at a higher capacity than previously."
- Free said in an email that seeing 40 percent of the job shops reporting that they have benefited from work being re-shored is a great sign, and will continue to grow. "Very encouraging," Free said.
- However, 63.3 percent of surveyed job shops do not sell outside of America -- while this "is not surprising" to Free, "it is a sad statement," he noted. "Small businesses have to learn how to sell outside of the U.S. Being 100% dependent on the U.S. Economy going forward is a losing strategy."
In short, the MFG.com data appears to suggests that many smaller US manufacturers are already benefiting -- perhaps disproportionally compared to similar smaller manufacturers from other countries in the Panjiva/ Global Sourcing Council data -- from the moves companies that claim they are beginning to make away from China sourcing (despite the fact that export China to US dollar volume levels continued to grow throughout 2011).