U.S. manufacturers had another solid quarter of profits from April to June, according to data released today by the Census Bureau
total after-tax profits for American manufacturing corporations totaled more
than $149 billion in the second quarter, a slight increase from $148.2 billion in the first quarter of 2012, but down slightly from the all-time quarterly high of $153.4
billion of profits in the second quarter of 2011 (see chart above).
Manufacturing profits have ranged between $146 billion and $153 billion over the last six quarters starting at the beginning of 2011, which contributed to
record-setting profits in 2011 on an annual basis of almost $600
billion. Based on the first two quarters of this year, manufacturing profits are on track to approach $600 billion again this year.
In the three years before the recession started (2005-2007), manufacturing profits
were averaging about $110.0 billion per quarter, so the recent average of
$148.5 billion per quarter since 2011 puts current manufacturing profits 35% above pre-recession levels. This provides evidence of an
industry that has not only made a complete recovery from the 2007-2009 recession, but shows that U.S. manufacturers as a group are now actually significantly more profitable than before the recession.