MRO Magazine

Metalformers expect downturn over next three months

Cleveland, OH -- Metalforming companies expect a slight downturn in business conditions during the next three month...


March 22, 2007
By MRO Magazine

Cleveland, OH — Metalforming companies expect a slight downturn in business conditions during the next three months, according to the March 1, 2007, Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 162 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, 28% of participants reported that conditions will improve (down from 32% in February), 57% predict activity will remain the same (compared to 58% the previous month) and 15% anticipate a decline in business conditions (up from 10% in February).

Metalforming companies also expect a dip in incoming orders during the next three months. Forty per cent of respondents forecast an increase in orders (down from 45% in February), 41% predict no change (compared to 39% last month) and 19% anticipate a decrease in orders (up from 16% in February).

Current average daily shipping levels compared to the past three months also dropped slightly in March. Thirty-five per cent of companies reported that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 37% in February), 37% reported no change (compared to 40% in February) and 28% reported that March shipping levels are below levels of three months ago (compared to 23% the previous month).


The number of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained steady, as 16% reported workers on short time or layoff in March, compared to 17% in February.

Reacting to the March report, PMA president William E. Gaskin observed, Business conditions for the metalforming industry are not as strong as we had hoped to see. The dip in current shipping levels for March is a bit unusual, as the normal pattern would be for expectations for monthly shipments to increase each month through the end of the first calendar quarter, then dip beginning in April or May as summer approaches.

Full report results are available at PMA is the full-service 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. Its nearly 1200 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.