Report: U.S. projected to lead growth in global manufacturing

June 14, 2012

The global economy may be in the midst of a period of stagnation, but the U.S. is expected to lead growth in several sectors. According to a new survey report from KPMG International, American manufacturing is expected to support the overall industry.

The report, 2012 Global Manufacturing Outlook: Fostering Growth through Innovation, outlined how more than 40 percent of executives in the sector expect the U.S. to lead the growth in the industry, as several other markets have struggled in the past year.

According to the report, top- and bottom-line growth are the main priorities for companies throughout the world, and the adoption of lean manufacturing practices and increased levels of efficiency across all operations are the main ways that firms are looking to cut costs and generate more revenue.

"Manufacturers may be optimistic about the business environment over the next few years, but they are challenged with continued price volatility on cost inputs, risk in the supply chain, and uncertain demand," said Jeff Dobbs, KPMG’s global head of Diversified Industrials and a partner in the US firm. "As such, companies must continue to seek opportunities to optimize business operations and squeeze costs out of the process to maximize revenue and profits."

Dobbs noted that the modern American manufacturing organization, after years of outsourcing and lost revenue due to the economic crisis of 2008, has adjusted its business model to handle periods of volatility. Efficiency across the board will help organizations weather even the worst fiscal crisis, and 62 percent of executives in the sector feel that improvements made in the past several years have prepared them for many challenges to cross their paths.

"Today, manufacturers are leaner and more agile, many with strong balance sheets and healthy cash reserves – in a nutshell, they're poised for growth," Dobbs said.

This adjustment of business strategy has prepared these firms to lead the comeback in U.S. manufacturing, according to The Atlantic.

Squeezing margins and increasing price competition have become industry-wide practices and standardization of operations that have helped firms stay relevant without cutting jobs.

According to the news outlet, the reshoring of work from China has helped to reinvigorate the American sector, and further efforts to maximize production while limiting overhead costs could see U.S. manufacturing solidify its place atop the global industry.