Machine Tool Orders Slow In July

By John S. McClenahen For the machine tool industry, the U.S. economic "soft patch" seems to have continued into July. Gross new orders for U.S. consumption slowed 12.7% to $243.09 million in July, report the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association, Rockville, Md., and AMT-the Association for Manufacturing Technology, McLean, Va. In July, new orders for metal-cutting machine tools decreased 7.3% to $225.77 million and new orders for metal-forming machine tools decreased 50.4% to $17.32 million. For 2004 through July, the new order book is fuller, however. Orders total $1.586 billion for the first seven months of this year, 39.3% higher than the $1.139 billion recorded during the first seven months of 2003.

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