Despite ongoing challenges with supply chains and workforce issues, Iowa manufacturers remain optimistic about increased sales and plan to invest in their businesses in the fourth quarter, according to the latest Iowa Association of Business and Industry Quarterly Business Survey released on Friday.

Seventy percent of ABI board members surveyed in late August said they expect sales to increase in the next quarter, compared to 79% in the previous quarterly survey. Nearly 56% of respondents also said they expect the number of employees in their business to grow, down from 72% in the previous quarter. Results also show 76% of respondents plan to make capital expenditures in the next quarter, up slightly from 75% in the previous quarter.

About half of ABI’s 1,500 member companies are manufacturers.

"It is reassuring to see Iowa manufacturers planning to make capital investments in their business," ABI President Mike Ralston said in a prepared statement.  "However, our manufacturing companies continue to face supply chain and workforce challenges. ABI is a supporter of Manufacturing 4.0 initiatives. Investments in automation and smart technology will help Iowa manufacturers remain competitive and can address the ongoing issues in the industry."

On a national level, companies are also maintaining a positive outlook. According to the National Association of Manufacturers latest Manufacturers’ Outlook Survey, 87.5% of respondents feel optimistic about their company outlook.