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Manufacturing Technology Orders Up 22%

Manufacturing technology orders were $458 million in November, down 2% from October levels and up 7% from November 2017 numbers, according to the latest United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Additionally, October through December orders levels were running significantly higher than the fourth quarter of 2017, but not at the frenetic pace set by third-quarter 2018 order values. The $5 billion year-to-date sum is up an impressive 22% from the same 11 months in 2017.

“Orders in the third quarter were amazing, and no one expected that pace to continue into the last three months of 2018,” said AMT President Doug Woods. “The single-digit October and November year-over-year growth rates are a harbinger of what we’ll see in early 2019, but our members are confident growth will continue as the aerospace industry ramps up to reduce order backlogs; medical equipment demand grows with the graying of North America; and the auto sector drives capex investment deeper into the supply chain.”

The strength in November orders was the product of two sectors – contract machining and industrial machinery. October and November levels in the aerospace and automotive industries provided a strong base for order levels in both months, but jumps in demand for manufacturing technology in the contract machining and industrial machinery industries accounted for a significant portion of the year-over-year growth in total orders. November industrial machinery orders were a third larger than October. Forging and stamping also had a good November, up 25% in November after a 75% increase from September to October.

Geographically, the Northeast, West and North Central East showed strengthening markets during November. The North Central East growth in orders during November was led by stronger auto and aerospace orders, bucking the national trend in these two sectors.

Improvement in the West region was driven by several large orders in the consumer electronics industry. The Northeast saw the largest month-to-month gain for a region due to a strong pick- up in orders from the contract machining sector and growth in the aerospace sector counter to the national trend in aerospace.

Most of the key indicators are very strong. Consumer confidence moved upwards to 98.3 in December from 97.5 in November, and the sales indices available were stable, including light vehicle sales, which posted sales at a 17.4 million units-per-year pace for November.

The Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers’ Index slipped five points from November to December but is still in the expansion range for manufacturing. Several other leading indicators used to gauge the health and direction of the manufacturing technology market are unavailable due to the U.S. government shut down.


About USMTO Report

The numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. This report, compiled by AMT, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.


About the Association for Manufacturing Technology

AMT represents U.S.-based builders and distributors of manufacturing technology – the advanced machinery, devices, and digital equipment that U.S. manufacturing relies on to be productive, innovative, and competitive. Located in McLean, Virginia, near the nation’s capital, AMT acts as the industry’s voice to speed the pace of innovation, increase global competitiveness and develop manufacturing’s advanced workforce of tomorrow. With extensive expertise in industry data and intelligence, as well as a full complement of international business operations, AMT offers its members an unparalleled level of support. AMT also produces IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, the premier manufacturing technology event in North America.