New orders for machine tools fell 11.8% from June to July, totaling $318.33 million for the month, and dropped 11.1% versus the year-ago result for July 2014. It was the second-lowest monthly total in the past 12 months, and the second-lowest total for units ordered, and while the pace is well off the peak set for new orders in September 2014 there is no clear trend as the index wavers from month to month.
The 2015 year-to-date orders are valued at $2.48 billion, down 8.7% from the seven-month total for 2014.
The totals are contained in the U.S. Machine Tool Orders Report, which is issued monthly by AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology from participating companies who produce and distribute metal-cutting and metal-forming and –fabricating equipment, and including domestically manufactured and imported equipment. The report is based on actual values for new orders, and the results are presented as nationwide totals and as totals for six regions of the U.S.
AMT presents the report USMTO as “a reliable leading economic indicator, as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.” Current manufacturing activity is more clearly indicated by the monthly Cutting Tools Market Report, co-presented by AMT and the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute, though over the past year that index also indicated weak domestic manufacturing activity.
“The mood among manufacturers right now is best described as ‘caution cubed,’” observed AMT president Douglas K. Woods, “… concerns around disruption in China, a drop in some key economic indicators like PMI and housing starts, and softening in large customer industries, including agriculture and energy.
The full report is available at AmericanMachinist.com