The U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report for November is out, and the numbers are up for the month, though still down for the year.
Order values increased 2.2% across the board compared to October, with the biggest industry investment in appliances, automotive, computer and electronics, and HVAC, a trickle-down effect, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology, of the year’s new housing starts. The year-to-date orders are down 17.2% from the same point in 2014.
“A significant portion of global manufacturing is experiencing slower growth, especially China and we continue to struggle with the impacts of a stronger dollar,” AMT president Douglas K. Woods said. “Investing in productivity and automation technologies is one way that manufacturers look to stay competitive in a softer market, especially as pricing moderates for finished manufactured goods.”
Woods noted that manufacturing technology specifically and manufacturing in general are positioned for a better 2016 thanks to Congress: a recently passed two-year budget deal ends sequestration, reduces the risk of a government shutdown, and restores tax incentives for capital equipment purchases. Those incentives expired at the end of 2014.
“We are hopeful that this will accelerate the replacement cycle for equipment that we are expecting in 2017 and 2018,” Woods said. “The prolonged decline in orders we saw through 2015 is anticipated to give way to an upturn at the end of 2016.”
The hard numbers for the November and the rest of the year so far: Monthly manufacturing tech orders checked in at $329.76 million for 1,795 units, $329,758 per unit and down 13.8% from last November. Yearly manufacturing tech orders are now at $3.778 billion, down the aforementioned 17.2%.