Cutting Tool Demand Drops, Despite Positive Signs

Cutting Tool Demand Drops, Despite Positive Signs

Third decline in four months for manufacturers’ cutting tool consumption -2.3% month-to-month +1.6% year-to-year Increase for daily consumption

Manufacturers’ consumption of cutting tools demonstrates some similarities to durable goods manufacturing. USCTI president Tom Haag noted that cutting-tool consumption through the first two months of 2015 showed a demand trend in common with manufacturing of durable goods.

U.S. manufacturers purchased $179.3 million worth of cutting tools during February, a month-to-month decline of 2.3% from January’s consumption total ($181.9 million), but a 1.6% year-to-year improvement compared to the February 2014 result. The figures are drawn from the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report, issued jointly by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology.

While there are some positive indicators in the data, February represents the second consecutive monthly decline in the CTMR index, and the third monthly decline in four months, offset only by a late-2014 that drove an increase in December consumption.

“The start of 2015 has shown both January and February surpassing last year’s totals,” commented Tom Haag, president of USCTI. “This increase has followed the same pattern in manufacturing of durable goods.  These are positive conditions considering the first quarter has faced the adversity of harsh weather conditions, and a strong dollar in a weakening global economy.”

The comparison to durable goods is relevant because both categories monitor a level of demand for products which are continually replaceable. In contrast to the AMT’s monthly U.S. Machine Tool Orders report, which tracks capital investment activity, the CTMR is a measure of actual manufacturing activity by machine shops and other manufacturers.

In addition, while February had one fewer working day than January, the month-to-month decline in total cutting-tool consumption might be viewed as an increase in the daily consumption rate: $9.43 million/day in February; $9.1 million/day in January.

The CTMR is based on actual figures reported by cutting tool manufacturers and distributors participating in the program, who represent about 80% of the U.S. market for cutting tools. The reports’ sponsors note that cutting tools are high-value, high-volume consumable products, the consumption of which parallels manufacturing activity in the wider economy.

The reports sponsoring agencies note that cutting tools are high-value, high-volume consumable products, the consumption of which parallels manufacturing activity in the wider economy.

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