Green Shoots for U.S. Manufacturing Technology Consumption?

September's purchase of manufacturing technology and equipment was up 17.8% from August.

Purchases of manufacturing technology and equipment totaled $153.55 million for September 2009, according to AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors Association, and AMT, the Association For Manufacturing Technology.

This total was up 17.8% from August but down 69.3% from the total of $500.57 million reported for September 2008.

With a year-to-date total of $1.19 billion, 2009 is down 67.8% compared with 2008.

"The slight improvement in September orders indicates that we are in synch with the increases seen in the other monthly indicators such as durable goods sales, the PMI and steel production," said Peter Borden, AMTDA President. "The factory capacity utilization number still remains in the 65% to 70% range, however, and until this number returns to 75% to 80%, our rate of growth will be slow and sporadic."

Breaking down the data into regions, the Northeast region was 50.8% higher than August's $24.25 million but down 54.1% when compared with September a year ago. The year-to-date total of $237.20 million was 56.0% less than the comparable figure in 2008.

The Southern region totaled $13.5 million, down 42.8% compared with August's $23.61 million and down 83.7% when compared with September a year ago. The $165.84 million year-to-date total was 71.0% less than the 2008 total at the same time.

In the Midwest region consumption in September rose to $45.51 million, 33.8% higher than August's $34.01 million but down 69.3% when compared with September 2008. With a year-to-date total of $334.88 million, 2009 was down 73% when compared with 2008 at the same time.

And the central region reported $33.98 million, 8.5% more than the $31.33 million tally for August but off 75.7% when compared with September a year ago. The $293.57 million year-to-date total was down 68.7% when compared with the same period in 2008.

In the Western region consumption was up 39.7% to $23.99 million from August's $17.17 million but 51.8% below the September 2008 total. At $168.43 million, 2009 year-to-date was off 61.4% when compared with last year at the same time.

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