United States

McGladrey Survey: U.S. Market Is Attracting Strong Global Competition

Economic recovery invites influx of foreign manufacturing, distribution firms



Three in four global manufacturing and distribution executives expect profits to increase, and the sector is projecting an average growth rate of 10 percent over the next 12 months, according to an annual survey gauging middle market sentiment conducted by McGladrey LLP, the nation’s leading provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market.

Globally, executives expect average sales to increase 12 percent over the next 12 months. They also plan to increase domestic hiring by roughly 8 percent.

About nine in 10 executives say their business is either holding steady (56 percent) or thriving (35 percent). That optimism, however, is tempered by a surge in competition as manufacturing firms from around the globe enter the U.S. market, the world’s most reliable economy. The survey indicates that 67 percent of non-U.S. manufacturers intend to sell products or services outside their home markets in 2015. More than half of those expanding beyond their borders say they plan to enter the U.S. market.

“These findings indicate that economic recovery in the U.S. is gaining significant traction,” said Karen Kurek, a McGladrey partner and thought leader for the industrial products industry. “While that’s great for the U.S. economy, it’s not always great for U.S. businesses that want to remain competitive with global firms looking to enter and expand in the domestic market. U.S. manufacturers and distributors should continue to incorporate innovation into their cultures to contend with global firms.”

According to the survey, non-U.S. executives are 10 percent more likely to develop new services than U.S. executives.

Non-U.S. companies also are out-investing U.S. companies in technology applications across several categories. Firms outside of the U.S. are roughly 10 percent more likely to have invested in implementation of cloud computing, big data solutions, social media platforms, new production technologies, customer relationship management, e-commerce, and emerging design technologies.

Aside from investing in new technology, another business option for U.S. companies is to seek growth opportunities in foreign markets. More than 40 percent of American industrial firms currently have no international sales goals, compared to 27 percent of non-U.S. companies. And just 11 percent of U.S. firms say they plan to start selling products and services outside of the country in 2015.

The 2015 Manufacturing & Distribution Monitor Report was conducted in March and April 2015. The 2015 Monitor survey presents the perspectives and expectations of 1,660 manufacturing and distributions executives based around the world. These executives represent companies based primarily in the United States, but also based in Canada, Latin America, the Asia Pacific, and Europe.

For more information about the Monitor Report, visit the McGladrey website.

About McGladrey
Effective Oct. 26, 2015, McGladrey will unite with fellow members of our global network under the common brand name RSM. McGladrey LLP is the leading U.S. provider of assurance, tax and consulting services focused on the middle market, with 8,000 professionals and associates in 80 cities nationwide. A licensed CPA firm, McGladrey serves clients around the world through RSM International, a global network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms. For more information, join our Facebook fan page at McGladrey News, follow us on Twitter @McGladrey, and connect with us on LinkedIn, and/or on YouTube.