AMBA 2021 Business Forecast Report Reflects Industry Optimism and Near-Future Improvement

Benchmarking report indicates current business conditions remain positive for 99% of mold builders and many manufacturers believe business conditions in Q1 will increase.


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The American Mold Builders Association (AMBA, Indianapolis, Ind., U.S.) recently released its annual AMBA Business Forecast Report. Data for this report was collected from 110 U.S.-based mold manufacturers during AMBA’s Business Forecast Study (conducted from late-December 2020 to mid-January 2021). This benchmarking report analyzes and highlights information on the anticipated outlook for the U.S. mold building industry for 2021.

The report showcases data on sales trends, profit levels, capital expenditures, shop and design employment levels and challenges faced in the industry. This data is pulled from surveyed responses on more than 40 economic indicator questions that cover 2020 performance, fourth-quarter performance and forecasts and expectations for 2021. This year, new data was gathered specific to the impact felt by mold manufacturers during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

AMBA’s report reveals hopeful optimism and gradual improvement within the industry. Not only do current business conditions remain positive for 99% of mold builders, but the percentage of respondents reporting poor conditions has dropped significantly since 2020. The percentage of mold manufacturers who believe business conditions in Q1 will increase also has risen from last year’s all-time low, surpassing data from the last five years.

For the second time, AMBA surveyed mold builders on questions related to capacity and the state of their pipelines. Since last surveyed in 2020, reported industry current capacity utilization has risen from 67% to 73%. Additionally, the number of companies reporting that their pipeline is oversold, full or adequate all increased in the last 12 months.

While once again, executives surveyed named workforce development as the primary challenge facing the mold building industry, it was overshadowed by a much greater degree in this year’s report, falling from a challenge faced by 93% of respondents to one identified by only 53%. New business development/sales also fell significantly in importance, and was replaced by challenges related to foreign competition, cost pressure and maintaining profitability. This is unsurprising, given the recent volatile political environment, the continuing threat of foreign competition and the need to work more efficiently with a diminished workforce, either due to limited resources and/or effects from the pandemic.

In addition to the publication of this report, AMBA also has recently published it’s 2020/2021 Wage and Salary Report, which represents the largest compensation study focused on the U.S. mold building industry and contains comprehensive analysis on over 50 job classifications from surveyed mold builders.

To purchase either report and to see other benchmarking opportunities, visit AMBA.org.