Not surprisingly, manufacturing sector profitability is affected by cyclical movements in the economy.  Profits as a percentage of stockholders’ equity fell in the four recessions experienced between 1980 and 2012.  Nonetheless, aggregate profits and the rate of profitability rebounded with subsequent economic recoveries.  Over this period, the rate of manufacturing sector profitability averaged 12.6 percent and aggregate profits reached a record high in 2011.  This indicates that most manufacturing industries are presently in sound financial condition.

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