UIRA finds COVID-19 impacts on Utah manufacturing may last three years

Utah Industry Resource Alliance (UIRA), under CARES Act funding, has released an in-depth economic study of the impacts of the COVID-19 induced recession on Utah’s manufacturers: “Using Market Demand to Manage Production Levels: COVID-19 Market Demand Analysis and Forecast for Utah Manufacturers 2021-2025.”

“The COVID-19 recession was sudden and steep,” said economist Dr. Tulinda Larsen, Executive Director Utah’s Advanced Materials and Manufacturing Initiative and author of the study. “Utah’s manufacturers can expect a return to growth may take 2 to 3 years, but Utah manufacturers exhibit the resiliency required to rebound from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.”

The study found a clear dichotomy between Utah manufacturers who are facing steep sales declines and those who are not able to keep up with demand. For example:

*        Commercial aerospace manufacturing and oil production companies are facing steep declines. Hexcel just announced year-to-date sales have decreased by 32.6%. Oil manufacturing dropped by 54% since the pandemic began.
*        Businesses, such as brick manufacturing, can’t keep up with demand.

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The study considered three economic scenarios based on GDP growth:

Low-Significant 2nd wave, no vaccine available, infection rates continue to increase;

Expected- Vaccine found but not widely available, no 2nd wave, infection rates stabilize, society lives/works with virus;

High- Vaccine widely available, no 2nd wave, infection rates decline, society adapts to virus.

UIRA expects the economic return to growth in four phases: Containment, Recovery, Reset, and Growth. Under the low scenario, sales would not return to pre-pandemic levels until 2023. However, under the high scenario, a return to pre-COVID sales volume could happen as early as 2021.

Market Forecast 2020-2025

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UIRA will be tracking economic trends impacting Utah’s manufacturing and will be updating the study quarterly.

About UIRA
The Utah Industry Resource Alliance (UIRA) is an economic development organization chartered specifically to help Utah manufacturing industry and rural Utah businesses. The UIRA provides services and outreach to all 29 Utah counties and focuses on improving the bottom line through concepts like Process Improvement & Operational Efficiencies, Supply Chain Optimization, Cybersecurity Planning, Technical Consulting, and Quality Systems and Certifications, while growing the entire company through the adoption of new technologies, workforce development, strategic planning and expanded markets.