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Economy Still Top Concern but Supply Chains Are Easing

CEO Outlook: March 2023

Manufacturers concerns haven't wavered much since the fall. In our first CEO survey of 2023, the top three worries remain the economy and global market volatility, talent recruitment and retention, and supply chain disruptions. In fact, the only movement in the top five was the concern about cyber threat moving up a notch and commodities/raw materials pricing moving down one.

Raw Materials Starting to Thaw?

Speaking of raw materials, more than half (54%) expect the price of raw materials to drop in 2023, and another 29% expect them to remain the same. Component pricing didn't have quite as rosy an outlook – half of CEOs expect the pricing to remain static this year, with only 24% expecting prices to fall.

A Downturn is Still Expected

More than 3/4 of manufacturing CEOs are experiencing or expecting an economic downturn in 2023.



Orders Are the Same or Lower

Survey respondents reported that U.S. new orders and U.S. export orders were lower or about the same when compared with orders this time last year.



Good News on Supply Chains

After continuous hits on supply chain fronts for the past few years, most manufacturing CEOs reported that the situation is improving.


Headcount Has a Mixed Outlook

When asked how the overall headcount in 2023 will compare with 2022, our respondents were fairly evenly divided. A third (33%) reported headcounts would be up this year, while 38% said they would be down. The remaining 29% reported they didn't expect much change in 2023.