Value cannot be blank
Over the past year, such themes as tariffs, trade embargoes and government turbulence have shaped a market narrative around the idea of uncertainty. That uncertainty, coupled with ongoing business realities related to capacity, labor and material cost, among others, has created a new business reality for companies today; one that emphasizes the need to expect the unexpected.
But what does that mean for business conditions moving forward? To gain a deeper understanding of how market factors impact business today, Ryerson surveyed customers on macro-economic and market-specific conditions.
The survey consisted of five questions and was distributed via email in late 2018 and early 2019. Respondents included manufacturers, fabricators and machine shops, among others, from all regions of The United States and Canada.
What did we learn? For starters, many anticipate a repeat in business conditions in 2019. Roughly 58 percent of respondents expect business levels to remain the same in 2019 as 2018. If that proves to be the case, it could present difficulties given the fact that labor shortages (49 percent) and ongoing uncertainty related to tariffs (48 percent) are the top two challenges facing respondents' business today.
Furthermore, if business levels do indeed remain the same in 2019, that means finding new ways to tackle challenges faced in 2018, such as:
What comes next for many could be a history lesson; one that challenges businesses to examine trends from the past year in order to move forward. After all, amid the market uncertainty ahead comes some assurance with knowing where you have been.
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