Iowa Manufacturers Look to Innovation and Technology in the First Quarter of 2023

December 15, 2022 | Download PDF

DES MOINES, Iowa – Iowa manufacturers expect to make capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2023, according to the latest Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Quarterly Business Survey. ABI sent this survey to its board in late November. 

  • Survey results show 67 percent of respondents plan to make capital expenditures in the first quarter of 2023, which is a slight increase from the fourth quarter of 2022.
  • Twenty-three (23) percent of respondents expect sales to expand in the first quarter of the new year, a 15 percent decrease from the fourth quarter of 2022. 47 percent expect sales to stay about the same in Q1.
  • Sixty-seven (67) percent of respondents expect the number of employees in their businesses to stay about the same. Only 8 percent expect the number of employees to decrease.

Despite the new year approaching, longstanding barriers persist.

“Employers are continuing to face supply chain challenges and workforce shortages, while, in some cases, backlogs remain substantial,” said Mike Ralston, ABI President. “And we note that many have the possibility of a recession in the back of their minds.”

Yet as seen in the survey results, many manufacturers are still choosing to make significant investments in automation as a solution to these barriers.

“In true Iowa fashion, our state’s manufactures are rising to the challenges facing them,” said Ralston. “ABI looks forward to assisting members as they make these investments and bring new solutions to their facilities.” 

For previous survey results, resources for manufacturers and events on automation, including an upcoming cobot automation summit, visit

Approximately half of ABI’s 1,500-member companies are manufacturers. ABI represents nearly every industry in the state of Iowa.