U.S. manufacturers ordered $335.48 million worth of machine tools and related manufacturing technology during October, a drop of 32.9% from the September result, and yet still ahead of the October 2015 total by 0.2%. The month-to-month decline was expected by AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which released the totals in its monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report, because the September report included results of machine tool sales during the International Manufacturing Technology Show.
The USMTO report summarizes actual totals for machine tool sales, nationwide and in six regions, as reported by participating companies that produce and distribute metal-cutting and metal-forming and -fabricating equipment, including domestically manufactured and imported machinery and equipment. AMT describes USMTO data as a reliable leading economic indicator, as manufacturing companies invest in capital equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.
According to AMT, new orders are slowly recovering from the lows that have prevailed for much of the current year, and it pointed to growth trends in housing, appliances, automotive, and electronics markets as signs of an emerging recovery.
“It’s certainly welcome to see signs of recovery for manufacturing overall, but marked improvement for manufacturing technology orders is not forecast until the second quarter of 2017,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “Unless manufacturers feel pressed on capacity, they aren’t likely to make substantial capital investments in machinery and equipment. Those signs of gradual improvement and increased utilization rates are emerging, albeit slowly.”