U.S. Machine Tool Orders Up 15.3% in June

Strong first-half confirms previous reports of sectors rebound

U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools and related equipment and technology rose 15.3% in June, to $459.39 million from $388.27 million in May, confirming the strong demand reported recently by European machine tool manufacturers and capping a strong first half for the sector. The results were reported by AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, in their monthly Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report.

The USMTO report is based on actual orders of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment, nationwide and on a regional basis.

The June results brought the six-month total for 2011 machine tool orders to $2,453.78 million, a 103.9% improvement over the January-June 2010 period. The June 2011 new orders also represent a 91.7% improvement over the June 2010 total ($239.68 million.)

“At this pace, the industry would post orders equal to all of 2010 by the end of August,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “Still, industry leaders view the rest of 2011 with cautious optimism given the weakness in parts of the economy illustrated by the Dow’s plunge at the beginning of August. We expect a bump in orders related to customers taking advantage of the current Bonus Depreciation rate before it is reduced in 2012."

The regional results of the USMTO showed comparative strength in the Central and Western states, though the Northeast region was the only one to report even a slight decline from the previous month. New orders for machine tools, etc., in the Northeast totaled $61.82 million in June, down 2.9% from the region’s May total but an 18.3% improvement over the results from June 2010. The six-month total for new orders in the Northeast is $367.33 million, a 72.1% improvement over the region’s January-June 2010 total.

In the South, June new orders rose 18.5% in June, to $65.77 million from $55.49 million in May and 94.2% more than the June 2010 total. With a year-to-date total of $306.30 million, the region’s new orders have risen 64.0% over the comparable period of 2010.

Results from the Midwest indicate a 5.5% improvement in June over May, up to $155.39 million from $147.24 million in the earlier month. The latest figure is also an improvement of 114.0% over June 2010. The six-month 2011 total for new orders in the Midwest is $855.13 million, 157.1% higher than the January-June 2010 results.

June new orders in the Central states totaled $124.86 million, a rise of 30.8% from the $95.48 million result for May, and up 126.7% from June 2010’s results. It brought the region’s first-half results to $677.66 million, a 108.2% over the six-month total for 2010.

The West reported a 40.7% improvement in new orders for June, up to $51.55 million from $36.64 million in May. The new total is also a 99.2% over the June 2010 total. For the year to date, the Western region has booked $247.35 million in new orders for machine tools and related technology, a 70.5% rise from the region’s first-half results for 2010.

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