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US Machine Tool Orders Drop for Second Straight Month

April 14, 2015
New orders for machine tools are viewed as an index of business confidence, but the sector has seen a general decline in overall demand since late 2014, and a 9.8 percent year-to-date drop.

Domestic manufacturers, including machine shops, ordered $304.74 million worth of metal cutting and metal forming/fabricating equipment during February, 10.6% less than during January and 14.6% less than during February 2014.

The second consecutive monthly drop is also the fourth month in the past five to show a decline in the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report, the exception being the late-year surge recorded in December 2014.

After two months, U.S. manufacturers have ordered $645.76 million, 9.8% less than they ordered during the comparable period of 2014.

“U.S. manufacturing is facing some pressure in terms of a stronger dollar and lower capital expenditures from the energy industry, but in taking the long view, we’re still in a good position overall,” AMT president Douglas K. Woods said.

Because of their critical role in manufacturing engineered components of industrial products, orders of machine tools represent a significant indicator of future manufacturing trends. The USMTO is issued monthly by AMT, the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which tracks new orders for machine tools and related technology based on actual data reported by participating manufacturers and distributors. It covers both domestically sourced and imported metal-cutting equipment and metal-forming and -fabricating equipment.

Read the full report on American Machinist, a companion site of IndustryWeek and part of Penton's Manufacturing Group.

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