Cleveland, OH — Metalforming companies are expecting a slight improvement in near-term business conditions, according to the March 1, 2006 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.
Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 148 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
When asked what they expect the trend in general economic activity to be over the next three months, 45% of participants reported that business conditions will improve (up from 39% in February), 45% believe conditions will remain the same (compared to 54% the previous month) and 10% predict economic activity will decrease (compared to seven percent in February).
Metalforming companies also have a positive outlook with regard to incoming orders during the next three months. Fifty-five percent of respondents anticipate an increase in orders (compared to 46% in February), 34% anticipate no change (down from 38% last month) and 11% forecast a decrease in orders (down from 16% in February). This is the fourth consecutive month in which metalformers reported they are expecting orders to increase over the next three months.
Current average daily shipping levels also rose in March. Forty-seven percent of companies reported that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (compared to 37% the previous month), 39% reported no change (up from 34% in February) and only 14% reported that March shipping levels are below levels of three months ago (compared to 29% in February).
The number of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained steady at 10% in March — the same percentage reported in February.
Full report results are available at www.metalforming.com.
PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $41-billion metalforming industry of North America — industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating and other value-added processes. Its nearly 1,200 member companies include metal stampers, fabricators, spinners, slide formers and roll formers as well as suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. Members are located in 30 countries, with the majority found in North America — in 41 states of the United States as well as Canada and Mexico.