Purchases of cutting tools by U.S. manufacturers and machine shops increased 4.6.% from August to September, rising to $176.5 million for the month. It was the first monthly increase after two consecutive months of decline. Even more encouraging, the latest figure is 7.7% higher than the September 2013 total.
The data is contained in the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report compiled jointly by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. The report is based on actual purchases by manufacturers participating in the CTMR program, who represent about 80% of the domestic market for cutting tools.
The CTMR report’s sponsors offer it as an indicator of U.S. manufacturing activity, measuring as it does the actual level of production by operations that produce and consume machined parts.
By contrast, AMT’s monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report measures business confidence in terms of capital investments. That index also delivered positive news for September, with a steady recovery in machine tool orders after several months of lackluster results.
“The 4.6% increase for September’s cutting tool shipments was not a surprise as the market’s expectations were for a strong finish in 2014,” observed Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group. “There is every indication that the momentum from the fall of 2014 is a harbinger of continued growth in industrial production and cutting tool sales for 2015.”