Faith in the U.S. economy has absolutely skyrocketed compared to last year, as 74% percent of financial executives are more optimistic than they were at this time last year, according to a new survey by Prime Advantage,  a group purchasing organization for midsized manufacturers.

"The results of our 2017 CFO Survey indicate great confidence in manufacturing among our members, along with the most positive view of the U.S. economy that we have recorded in years," said Dan Grant, president of Prime Advantage. This 48-point catapult over 2016 is by far the largest increase for this category since the survey began nine years ago.

Survey Highlights:

Financial Prospects

A survey record high of 71% of members are more optimistic about their companies’ financial prospects for the coming year as compared to last. This result is a 17-point jump from 2016, the largest year-over-year increase in optimism since 2010, when manufacturers were eagerly anticipating the Great Recession would soon end.

Employment

Hiring qualified talent continues to be a top concern for manufacturing companies in 2017. Sixty-seven percent of Members are expecting to increase their headcount this year, however 78% are also struggling to fill open positions.

Revenue Expectations

Member companies continue to project fiscal health for the coming year, crediting new product lines, new customer acquisitions, and an overall increase in customer demand. Expectations are high as 84% are stating that revenues will increase in 2017. A survey history low of only two percent expect a decline, a nine-point drop over the previous year.

Hopes for New US President and Congress

With respect to the most realistic and actionable ways the White House administration and Congress can help businesses, 94% of CFOs cited comprehensive tax reform as one of the top three tactics government could use.