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Metalforming Industry Business Conditions Report: December 2017

Metalforming manufacturing companies anticipate a spike in business conditions during the next three months, according to the December 2017 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 120 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The December report shows that 48% of participants expect an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (up from 30% in November). Another 47% forecast no change (compared to 54% the previous month) and only 5% believe that economic activity will decline (down from 16% in November).

“Manufacturers are feeling optimistic going into the new year. Metalfoming companies are hopeful that changes to the U.S. tax code will bring more certainty and stability, putting them in a better position to make investments in their businesses, add more workers, and compete in the global market. As Congress turns to implementation of tax reform, manufacturers hope that they will prioritize support for our industry.”

– Roy Hardy, PMA President

Metalforming companies also forecast an upturn in incoming orders during the next three months, with 55% predicting an increase in orders (up substantially from 32% in November), 36% anticipating no change (down from 49% in November), and 9% expecting a decrease in orders (down from 19% in November).

Current average daily shipping levels dipped in December. Twenty-nine percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (compared to 39% in November), 52% report that levels are the same (up from 46% the previous month), and 19% report a decrease in shipping levels (up from 15% in November).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff rose to 5% in December, up from only 1% in November. This figure is better than during December 2016, when 11% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available. PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $137-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its nearly 800 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. PMA leads companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM Mexico tradeshows, and MetalForming, Fabricating Product News and 3D Metal Printing magazines.

Contact: Christie Carmigiano
Precision Metalforming Association
[email protected]

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