Manufacturing technology orders dipped 2.6% from April to May, but the overall picture for the machine tools market it still strong, said Doug Woods, president of the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
Even with the slight decrease in May, the numbers for 2011 continue to smash 2010 pace, with 2011 leading 2010 by 108%, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report, which is put out by the combined efforts of the AMT and the American Machine Tool Distributors Association (AMTDA).
"Everything continues to be positive," Woods said. "Our growth levels are nearly back to where they were in 2008, so you had to imagine some slowing of the double-digit month-on-month numbers was going to happen at some point. It's still been a phenomenal year for the machine tool industry, and we expect it to continue."
Woods added that May provided the highest monthly average number dating back to 2001. He says those who are searching these numbers for signs that the economy is slowing are misguided.
"Durable goods orders are still rising and are within 25% of their 2007 peak," Woods said. "We're still predicting double-digit growth by the end of 2011."
Woods said China, India and Mexico are markets that still offer U.S. tool manufacturers good opportunities to sell their products for 2011.
The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations 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.
These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program.