MRO Magazine

Majority of metalforming companies predict flat business conditions

Cleveland, OH -- Metalforming companies reported little change in current and near-term business conditions accordi...


October 4, 2004
By MRO Magazine

Cleveland, OH — Metalforming companies reported little change in current and near-term business conditions according to the Sept. 1, 2004, Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 183 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

When asked whether they anticipated that general economic activity would increase, decrease or remain the same over the next three months, 38% of respondents reported that they expect business conditions to improve (a slight increase from 36% in August 2004), 47% said that activity would remain the same, and 15% thought it would decrease (up from 13% last month).

According to the report, expectations for incoming orders for the next three months were nearly identical to the expectations reported in August, with 42% expecting orders to rise (up from 41%), 37% predicting no change (down from 38%) and 21% indicating that orders would decrease over the next three months (the same percentage reported in August).


Fifteen per cent of responding companies currently have a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff, up slightly from 14% in August, but much improved from September 2003, at which time 21% reported workforce on short time or layoff.

On another positive note, current average daily shipping levels were reported to have increased in September, compared to three months ago, by 42% of respondents, up sharply from 37% in August. Thirty-seven per cent reported no change in shipment levels, while 21% reported that their shipping levels dropped, down from 27% last month.

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at PMA is a trade association representing the $41-billion metalforming industry of North America — the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating and other value-added processes.

PMA’s 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.