Machine Tool Consumption Slows, But Continues to Dwarf 2010

Numbers for April are down 21% from March, but are still up 105% over 2010.

The numbers for manufacturing technology consumption fell 21% in April, but the market remains strong, posting numbers 105.3% over 2010 for the first four months of the year, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Consumption (USMTC) report.

April's consumption totaled $396.92 million, which is down 21% from the March numbers but is still 74.9% higher than it was in April 2010. With year-to-date totals of $1.6 million, 2011 remains on pace to shatter the 2010 numbers.

Doug Woods, president of the the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), which cosponsors the report, says the slight decline in numbers stems from a number of factors, including the tsunami and nuclear crisis in Japan in March.

"A lot of our manufacturers have part of their supply chain in Japan, and that was bound to create nervousness," Woods said. "But the Japanese have done everything in their power to restart the supply chains as quickly as possible. That's alleviated much of the concern."

Woods says he's not concerned about the slight bump in the road in a year that has so far been a banner one for the machine tool market.

"We'd been growing at a feverish pace for the first three months of the year," Woods said. "We expect the numbers to bounce back in May and continue on the rate we projected at the beginning of the year."

The AMT had predicted at 29% growth rate year over year in 2010. The market is up 105.3% so far in 2011.

The USMTC report, compiled by the AMT and the American Machine Tool Distributors Association (AMTDA), provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.

These numbers and all the data in the report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USTMC program.

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