US Manufacturing Shipments Set to Rebound in 2021


Cleveland, OH, August 20, 2021 — US manufacturers’ shipments in nominal terms are forecast to advance 3.8% per year through 2025 from a depressed 2020 base, according to Manufacturing: United States, a report recently released by Freedonia Focus Reports. Rising prices – especially for chemicals and petroleum products – are expected to contribute to value gains. An expected uptick in oil prices and natural gas prices is expected to boost feedstock and fuel costs for plastic, rubber, and chemical suppliers.

Manufacturing shipments in nominal terms are expected to rise 6.0% in 2021 as the economy recovers, partially reversing a decline of 6.7% in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Efforts to delay community transmission caused a sharp contraction in economic activity, leading to significant changes or reductions in most manufacturing sectors. For example, all of the Big 3 US car manufacturers suspended production in mid-March; none restarted until nearly the end of April. The shutdowns and subsequent consumer income and job losses pushed motor vehicle sales 15% below 2019 levels in 2020 and drove production to fall 18%. In 2021, motor vehicle production is forecast to rise 6.9%, while sales are projected to increase 5.3%. The difficulty of obtaining enough computer chips in the motor vehicle sector is preventing faster gains in production and sales in 2021.

These and other key insights are featured in Manufacturing: United States. This report forecasts to 2021 and 2025 US manufacturers’ shipments in nominal and real (inflation-adjusted) US dollars. Total nominal shipments are segmented by product in terms of:

  • transport equipment
  • metal and mineral products
  • electrical and electronic products
  • machinery
  • other durable goods, such as wood products, medical equipment and supplies, and furniture and fixtures
  • food and beverages
  • chemical and allied products
  • petroleum and coal products
  • plastic and rubber products
  • other nondurable goods such as pharmaceutical and related products, paper products, textile products and apparel, and tobacco

To illustrate historical trends, total nominal and real shipments, the various segments, trade, and the broad dollar index are provided in annual series from 2010 to 2020.

This report includes both final products and interim components of those final products. Thus, total and segment values are subject to various degrees of double-counting. Re-exports of manufactured goods are excluded from demand and trade figures.

More information about the report is available at: