U.S.-based executives at large companies remain bullish on American manufacturing, and their actions are beginning to show it, according to recent research by The Boston Consulting Group (BCG). The firm’s third annual survey of senior manufacturing executives at companies with sales of $1 billion or more found that the number of respondents who said that their companies are already bringing production back from China to the U.S. had risen 20%—from roughly 13% to 16%—in the past year. The number who said that they would consider returning production in the near future climbed 24%—from about 17% to 20%. And a majority (54%) reportedly expressed interest in reshoring, validating last year’s result (also 54%). The 2014 survey, conducted by BCG’s Center for Consumer and Customer Insight in August, one year after last year’s, drew responses from 252 decision makers across a range of industries.
“These findings show that not only does interest in repatriating production to the U.S. and creating American jobs remain strong, but also that companies are acting on those intentions,” said Harold L. Sirkin, BCG senior partner and coauthor of the firm’s series on the shifting economics of global manufacturing, which was launched in 2011.
Another noteworthy finding this year: respondents indicated that the U.S. had surpassed Mexico as the most likely destination for new manufacturing capacity to serve the U.S. market. While the percentage of executives who chose the U.S. rose from 26% to 27%, the percentage who chose Mexico slipped from 26% to 24%.
In addition, respondents predicted that the U.S. would account for an average of 47% of their total production in five years, reflecting a 7% increase in U.S. capacity compared with last year’s results. Only 11% of their capacity would be in China, a 21% decrease from last year.
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