SurveyThis week, AEM released the findings of its CEO survey, which studied the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on equipment manufacturers. The 105 respondents (presidents, CEOs, and owners) weighed in on 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 and ensure the nation’s economic resilience.

The survey’s key 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 percent. 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 percent.
  • 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.

In a press release announcing the findings, AEM’s Dennis Slater said more was needed from Congress to help our industry and jumpstart the 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. The vast majority of them want Congress to prioritize infrastructure investment to help support equipment manufacturers and rebuild the economy,” said Slater.

As the media continues to cover the economic impact of the pandemic, many have found the survey results critical to their reporting. Reuters has already featured our findings on the Paycheck Protection Program in a story published yesterday (also picked up by The New York Times) and a POLITICO morning newsletter led with our survey this morning. Outlets including U.S. News and World Reports, Business Insider, Yahoo! Finance, and Investing.com have also published reports on the survey’s findings.

We will use the survey results to educate members of Congress and the White House about the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on our member companies and the ways they can support our industry.

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