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.
About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

About the Author

Matt LaWell | Staff Writer

Staff writer Matt LaWell explores news in manufacturing technology, covering the trends and developments in automation, robotics, digital tools and emerging technologies. He also reports on the best practices of the most successful high tech companies, including computer, electronics, and industrial machinery and equipment manufacturers.

Matt joined IndustryWeek in 2015 after six years at newspapers and magazines in West Virginia, North Carolina and Ohio, a season on the road with his wife writing about America and minor league baseball, and three years running a small business. He received his bachelor's degree in magazine journalism from Ohio University.

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