Latest Data Tracks Fall in US Cutting Tools Consumption

Jan. 17, 2016
November 2015 U.S. cutting tool consumption, an index of overall manufacturing activity, fell 13% from October and 11.3% from November 2014. YTD consumption fell 4.1%.
Similar to manufacturers’ shipments of durable goods, cutting tools are described as “the primary consumable in the manufacturing processs,” and the year-to-date decline is illustrative of the decelerating demand in overall manufacturing activity.

U.S. manufacturers consumed  $153.7 million worth of cutting tools during November 2015, a decline of 13.0% from the October figure, and down 11.3% from the November 2014 total. Through 11 months of consumption data, U.S. manufacturers’ cutting-tools purchases are is down 4.1% compared to the January-November 2014 total.

The figures are drawn from the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR), jointly issued by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT - the Association for Manufacturing Technology. Cutting tool consumption is an indicator of manufacturing activity, because cutting tools are “the primary consumable (product) in the manufacturing process,” the CTMR sponsors maintain.

“Caution is the word for the start of 2016,” commented Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group. “The continuation of negative performance as the figures show plus the global tensions of China’s economy and the rising value of the dollar dampen the industry’s thoughts of improvement”.

The slowing Chinese economy is having a broadly negative effect on industrial production, consumption, and investments. According to Tanya Bodell, executive director at Energyzt, an energy-industry analysis group, “The combination of low economic growth worldwide, but especially in China, combined with continued oil production has created a glut in oil supply that could continue to depress investment for at least the next year.”

American Machinist is an IndustryWeek companion site within Penton's Manufacturing & Supply Chain 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.)

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