U.S. machine shops and similar manufacturers ordered $323.74 million worth of new machine tools and related manufacturing during June, a total that was 17.5% higher than the May summary, though it is 10.5% lower than the June 2015 order total.
These data is drawn from the monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report issued by AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology. The USMTO report summarizes actual totals for machine tool orders reported by participating companies that produce and distribute metal-cutting and metal-forming and –fabricating equipment, including domestically manufactured and imported machinery and equipment.
USMTO is used as a forward-looking indicator of manufacturing capital investment, similar to the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Manager’s Index (PMI) — as companies place orders for new equipment to increase capacity and to improve current capabilities.
The June USMTO results bring the year-to-date order total to $1.83 billion, compared to $2.18 billion for the first the comparable January-June period of 2015. In other words, at the midpoint of 2016 machine-tool new orders are off last year’s pace by -15.8%.
AMT reported that, as of mid-year, current market forecasts indicate total new orders for 2016 will finish lower than 2015, which is a reversal of the forecast it made at the start of this year: in announcing its January USMTO results, AMT anticipated that manufacturing technology orders would finish 2016 up 3% compared to 2015 (or roughly $4.31 billion.)