A quarter of firms expect downturn in next 12 months

Nearly two-thirds of manufacturers are preparing their businesses for a possible recession, but just 27% of firms expect one to occur in the next 12 months, according to a survey by Chicago-based advisory firm Sikich LLP.

Among the 63% of companies taking steps to prepare for a downturn, the most common actions included increasing production efficiency, increasing the ability to quickly scale operations up or down and exploring new geographic markets.

The survey, conducted in April, garnered online responses from 310 companies. Around 94% of the respondents were based in the U.S., including 12% each in Wisconsin, Illinois and Ohio.

While the survey found just 27% of respondents said a recession is extremely or very likely in the next 12 months, there was a significant gap in the outlook between small and large firms. Just 21% of those with less than $500 million in annual revenue expect a recession while 49% of those above that threshold expect a downturn. Larger firms made up 21% of the survey sample.

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