A recent survey of U.S. equipment manufacturers explored the impact of COVID-19 on the industry.
The survey, conducted April 16-27, 2020, asked 105 respondents about the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on the economy, the industry, their companies, supply chain and manufacturing operations, their financial expectations, as well as the challenges they face and specific ways the federal government can keep equipment manufacturing strong.
The survey’s findings include:
- Nine out of 10 executives surveyed said that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the overall economy is very negative, while more than half said that the impact on the industry is equally bad.
- Seven out of 10 executives surveyed have experienced a moderately negative impact on their supply chain, while a quarter said the impact has been very negative.
- Four out of 10 executives surveyed expect the outlook for the next 30 days to get worse and said they plan to lower their financial outlook for the same period of time by more than 30%. The outlook for the rest of the year is better, but six out of 10 said they still plan to reduce their financial outlook by up to 30%.
- Nine out of 10 executives surveyed cited a decline in demand for equipment as the primary impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on their business.
- Executives surveyed pointed to the financial impact on their business, the continued health and well-being of their employees, and cancelled or delayed orders as the greatest challenges they face.
- Eight out of 10 executives surveyed said they would like to see a significant investment in infrastructure to help keep equipment manufacturers in business during the crisis and set the stage for the economic recovery.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has had an unprecedented impact on equipment manufacturers and the 2.8 million men and women of our industry,” said Dennis Slater, president of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers. “Even before the current crisis, equipment manufacturers were facing challenging times as a result of the protracted trade war with China, the mounting infrastructure crisis, and a decline in commodity prices. The COVID-19 pandemic has managed to turn an already dire situation worse.”
The survey of presidents, CEOs, and owners of leading equipment manufacturers comes as the Congress and the Trump administration are exploring ways to continue to support businesses and limit the damage to the U.S. economy.
“While quick bipartisan action in Congress, including the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program, has helped many equipment manufacturers to date, this survey makes it clear that our member companies need continued support to keep the lights on and workers on the job," Slater said.
The detailed findings are available in a memo prepared by AEM’s Market Intelligence Team.