MRO Magazine

Metalforming companies see steady business ahead

Cleveland, OH - According to the September 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an...


Cleveland, OH – According to the September 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 145 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The September report shows that 54% of participants expect economic activity to remain unchanged during the next three months (up from 47% in August), 24% predict that activity will improve (compared to 29% last month) and 22% report that activity will decline (down from 24% in August).

Metalforming companies also expect little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 33% predicting an increase in orders (down from 35% in August), 47% anticipating no change (compared to 38% last month) and 20% predicting a decrease in orders (down from 27% in August).

Average daily shipping levels increased slightly in September. Thirty-three per cent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 27% in August), 40% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 42% last month), and 27% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 31% in August).

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The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained at 12% in September, the same percentage reported in August. This number reflects an improvement from one year ago, when 19% of companies reported having a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff.

“Metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions for September through November, prior to the slowdown that generally is experienced during the holiday season,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “The metalforming industry continues to perform better than a number of other segments of the economy, reflecting the positive impact that manufacturing, generally, has had in keeping the economic picture somewhat brighter than the news media would have us believe. The impact of political bungling in Washington, D.C. on dealing with the deficit and the administration’s continued focus on new regulatory burdens, such as those recently imposed by the NLRB, clearly is being felt by manufacturers. It is time for the politicians, bureaucrats and regulators to send manufacturers a clear signal that they should hire employees by resolving the tax, energy and infrastructure issues, halting onerous new regulatory initiatives and clearing the decks for growth in domestic production.”

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.