According to the Association for Manufacturing Technology, total U.S. sales in February pulled in just $385.89 million, representing a 10.6% fall off from last year. While this number is up 5.7% from January’s weak totals, it puts year-to-date sales down 11.9% from 2012.
“A year-to-date decline in orders compared to 2012 is in line with expectations we had for a slight slowdown in the first two quarters of 2013,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “This is in line with our economists’ predictions that orders for 2013 will stay relatively flat compared to 2012.”
Woods does expect second-half growth is expected to offset the slump, however, which provides some optimism for the recent report.
“A month-to-month gain is certainly good to see, and these numbers seem to echo some of the other recent economic data, including gains in both factory orders and durable goods orders,” he said.
The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, compiled by the trade association representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.
Northeast Region: At $53.30 million, February manufacturing technology orders in the Northeast Region were up 7.7% when compared with the $49.50 million total for January but down 4.5% when compared with February a year ago. With a year-to-date total of $102.79 million, 2013 is down 10.9% when compared with 2012 at the same time.
Southeast Region: Manufacturing technology orders in the Southeast Region in February totaled $29.43 million, down 17.9% from January’s $35.84 million and down 36.1% when compared with February 2012. At $65.27 million, 2013 year-to-date is off 10.0% when compared with the 2012 figure for the same period.
North Central-East Region: North Central-East Region manufacturing technology orders totaled $111.92 million in February, up 17.4% from the $95.37 million total for January and up 8.7% when compared with February 2012. The year-to-date total of $207.29 million is 4.2% less than the comparable figure for 2012.
North Central-West Region: At $80.22 million, February manufacturing technology orders in the North Central-West Region were up 12.7% when compared with the $71.15 million total for January but 1.9% less than the February 2012 total. The 2013 year-to-date total of $151.36 million is down 3.2% when compared with 2012 at the same time.
South Central Region: February manufacturing technology orders in the South Central Region totaled $58.50 million, 19.8% less than January’s $72.96 million and down 37.6% when compared with February 2012. At $131.46 million, the 2013 year-to-date total is 31.3% less than the comparable figure for 2012.