Summary

The media has been full of reports lately about a renaissance in U.S. manufacturing. These stories have prompted much talk about the “reshoring” of manufacturing jobs to the U.S. from China and elsewhere. In his 2014 State of the Union address, President Barack Obama acknowledged “a manufacturing sector that’s adding jobs for the first time since the 1990s.”

But is this revival for real?  A lack of detailed data has made it difficult to assess what’s really going on within the U.S. manufacturing sector — or to predict where it’s headed in the future. In light of this, L.E.K. Consulting conducted a major survey of decision makers across 10 U.S. manufacturing industries, including aerospace and defense equipment, chemicals, industrial components, automotive equipment and electronics.

In this Executive Insights, L.E.K. Managing Directors Michael Connerty and Carol Wingard discuss five critical themes that are playing out across several manufacturing industries. One thing is clear — optimism about the future of U.S. manufacturing is relatively buoyant, as 68% of the executives surveyed agreed that U.S. manufacturing will experience accelerated growth in the next five years. L.E.K. discusses the trends in U.S. manufacturing and whether a renaissance is really on the rise.

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