Manufacturing Profits Soar to Record High

by: Mark J. Perry
Both after-tax profits and after-tax profit margins (profits/sales) for U.S. manufacturing corporations soared to record-high levels in the fourth quarter of 2010, according to data released today by the U.S. Census Bureau. Profits for U.S. manufacturing firms reached $135.3 billion in QIV last year, the highest amount of profits ever recorded in a single quarter for America's manufacturers, and surpassing the previous record of $127 billion in QII 2007 before the recession started (see top chart above). The after-tax profit margin for U.S. manufacturers also reached an all-time time of 9.1%, at least for the data the Census Bureau has available going back to 1999 (see bottom chart above).

The surge of manufacturing profits in 2010 to record high levels provides additional evidence that the U.S. manufacturing sector is expanding, profitable, thriving and healthy, and is leading the U.S. economic recovery.