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Precision metalforming companies see dip in business for next three months

Cleveland, OH -- According to the August 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate a slight dip in business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report...


Cleveland, OH — According to the August 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate a slight dip in business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 130 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The August report shows that 24% of participants forecast a decline in economic activity during the next three months (up from 17% in July), 47% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 55% last month) and 29% report that activity will improve (up from 28% in July).

Metalforming companies also expect a slight decrease in incoming orders during the next three months, with 27% predicting a decline in orders (up from 19% in July), 38% anticipating no change (compared to 48% in July) and 35% predicting an increase in orders (up from 33% in July).

Average daily shipping levels dipped slightly in August as well. Twenty-seven per cent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 38% in July), 42% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (up from 35% last month), and 31% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 27% in July).

However, the percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff improved to 12% in August, down from 18% in July. One year ago, 22% of companies reported having a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff.

“More than two-thirds of our member companies report that shipments continue to be up (27%) or the same (42%) as last month,” says William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “The economic uncertainty created by the chaotic manner in which Congress and the President dealt with the U.S. debt limit issue, along with modest dips in GDP and job growth, have undoubtedly tempered the outlook of PMA’s member companies for the next quarter.

Data from PMA’s most recent Orders & Shipments Survey indicate that from January through June 2011 actual orders grew by 12% year-over-year and shipments rose by 14%, with somewhat faster growth in Q-1 than in Q-2, largely due to the impact of the earthquake in Japan on the auto industry. Nearly three-quarters of our members anticipate flat (38%) or growing (35%) orders from August to October.”

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf. PMA is a full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America-the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its nearly 1,000 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.