The sales world of U.S. manufacturing and distribution is slowing mid-year as a softening economy, still-high inflation and other problems continue to slow productivity.
Through June, the total combined sales of U.S. manufacturers, wholesalers and distribution companies equaled $7.246 trillion, declined by 1% from sales of $7.298 trillion from January through June 2022, based on data from the U.S. Department of Commerce and based on a projection from Digital Commerce 360.
One key takeaway from year-to-date sales information is that sales – and other B2B manufacturing and distribution metrics—are hibernating as both rising costs, and slowing demand from a softening economy is hindering business-to-business purchasing.
For example, for the first six months of the year, manufacturing sales declined by 0.4% to $1.621 trillion from $1.628 trillion in the previous year. The National Association of Manufacturers also paints a picture of slowing productivity. In its latest quarterly survey of manufacturing companies, only 67% of manufacturers are positive about their own company’s outlook. This is down from 74.7% in the first quarter. The top challenges facing manufacturers include attracting and retaining a quality workforce (74.4%), weaker domestic economy (55.7%), rising health care/insurance costs (53.1%), unfavorable business climate (52.1%), increased raw material costs (50.8%) and supply chain challenges (44.9%). “Nearly 57% of manufacturers believed that the U.S. economy would experience a recession over the next 12 months, or through Q2 2024,” the association says.
In the wake of slowing sales some manufacturers are embracing, or accelerating digital commerce, as more organizations continue to make more of the purchasing, they are doing online.