Cleveland, OH — According to the August 2014 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect a spike in business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 110 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
The August report shows that 40% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (up from 28% in July), 53% expect that activity will remain unchanged (down from 58% last month) and 7% believe that economic activity will decline (compared to 14% in July).
Metalforming companies also forecast an uptick in incoming orders during the next three months, with 43% predicting an increase in orders (up from 40% in July), 47% anticipating no change (compared to 40% in July) and only 10% expecting a decrease in orders (down from 20% in July).
Current average daily shipping levels also improved in August. Thirty-nine per cent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 31% in July), 39% report that levels are the same as three months ago (down from 44% last month) and 22% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 25% in July).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dipped to 6% in August, down from 9% in July. The August 2014 figure is an improvement from this time last year when 10% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.
“Executives of metalforming companies are more positive about their current outlook for the general economy than they have been in more than two years,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “They also report that shipments are at their highest levels in the past two years, on average. And, not surprisingly, the percentage of companies with people on short-time or layoff is lower than it has been since early 2014. Metalforming company executives are more upbeat about their expectations for new orders than they have been since early 2014 as well. With reports of modest job growth in manufacturing, it appears that the metalforming industry is poised for a solid end to Q3 and a good start to Q4.”