Following a robust 2012, January U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled just $370.62 million, down from $422.33 million reported for January 2012.

January's report, according to AMT -- the Association for Manufacturing Technology -- marks a sharp 26.5% drop from December and a year-to-date decline of 12.2% from 2012.

“The drop-off between December and January is typical for technology orders, and it’s important to keep in mind that orders were exceptionally strong at the end of 2012, outperforming much of the broader economy,” said Douglas K. Woods, AMT President.

“While the manufacturing economy continues to be strong, we may see its growth undercut by fiscal uncertainty due to the impact from sequestration,” he added.

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.