Indiana Manufacturing Growth Slows For Second Year Running

Oct 19, 2016

 

Credit Toyota Motor Manufacturing of Indiana

Growth in Indiana's manufacturing industry is slowing down, thanks to over-regulation and a lack of skilled workers.

That's the message from businesses that weighed in for a big annual survey on the health of the Hoosier manufacturing sector.

It's prepared by Indianapolis accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, working with researchers at Indiana University, the Indiana Manufacturers' Association and Conexus Indiana.

 

This report marks the second year in a row for slowing growth in Indiana's biggest industry. The authors base that on metrics such as cash flow, performance and business climate.

 

It wasn’t all bad: This year, most manufacturers reported they felt financially stable and expected profit margins and revenues to keep increasing. But far fewer expected their markets to grow, too.

And only 3 percent said they planned to open a new manufacturing facility in the state next year, down from 11 percent last year.

 

That's due in part to the nation's plateauing economic recovery. But businesses also said they're worried about regulatory costs -- especially healthcare -- and corporate and property tax rates.

Indiana is part-way through a big, 10-year corporate tax cut -- though, for now, its rate is in the middle of the national pack.

 

Manufacturers -- most of them metal product fabricators -- also said a shortage of skilled and, increasingly, unskilled workers remains a concern. They want state policymakers to do more to attract and train people to join the industry.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story implied that the report was authored by the Indiana Manufacturers' Association. That is incorrect. Instead, the report was commissioned by accounting firm Katz, Sapper & Miller, with input from the IMA and other groups. This post has been updated to correct the error.