MRO Magazine

Metalforming companies expect improvement in incoming orders during next three months

Cleveland, OH - According to the August 2013 Business Conditions Report of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), metalforming companies expect a spike in business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is...


Cleveland, OH – According to the August 2013 Business Conditions Report of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA), metalforming companies expect a spike in business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 123 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The August report shows that 34% of participants believe that economic activity will improve during the next three months (up significantly from 22% in July), 59% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 63% in July), and only 7% forecast that activity will decline (compared to 15% in July).

Metalforming companies also expect an improvement in incoming orders during the next three months, with 38% anticipating an increase in orders (up from 28% in July), 52% predicting no change (compared to 53% last month) and 10% expecting a decrease in orders (down from 19% in July).

Average daily shipping levels rose slightly in August. Thirty per cent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 26% in July), 41% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 44% last month), and 29% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 30% in July).

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The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 10% in August, up from 9% in July. The August figure is better than it was at this time last year, when 13% of metalformers reported workers on short time or layoff.

“PMA’s member companies are far more optimistic as the summer comes to an end and express significant optimism for an uptick in orders and expectations for shipments in Q-4,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “At this time last year, momentum was in the opposite direction, with companies generally having a strong first half in 2012 and declining orders and shipments in the second half.

“This year, momentum seems to be building toward a fall rally to some degree. Most companies aren’t expecting a sudden surge in orders and shipments, but they do anticipate an uptick compared with the past few months, which is consistent with recent reports by ISM and other economic forecasts.”

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979.  Full report results are available at http://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf.

PMA is the 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 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.