U.S. manufacturers’ new orders of machine tools fell 10.2% from July to August, settling at $285.92 million for the month. The discouraging result — which is drawn from the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report, issued each month by AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology — represents a 21.2% drop from the new-orders total for August 2014, and brings the year-to-date total for manufacturing technology orders to $2.77 billion, a decline of 10.0% compared to the eight-month order total for 2014.
It also is the second consecutive monthly decline in new orders, and the sixth monthly decline for 2015. August’s total represents the lowest monthly value for new orders of the current year, and the lowest since the recent peak in new orders, set during September 2014. More particularly, the August total represents the lowest monthly figure for machine units 2015 – at 1,747 it is just one less than the total for January 2015.
The USMTO is based on actual data provided by companies participating in the USMTO program, who produce and distribute metal cutting and metal-forming and –fabricating equipment, including domestically manufactured and imported equipment.
The report is based on actual values for new orders, and the results are presented as nationwide totals and as totals for six regions of the U.S.
“While there is a sense of unease in manufacturing now, as indicated by this reduction in orders combined with drops in the PMI and industrial production, some leveling after a period of strong growth is expected and helps build stable, longer-term growth,” observed AMT president Douglas K. Woods.
“We are a diversified industry, and pockets of manufacturing continue to show resilience, such as automotive stamping and medical devices,” Woods assured. “While there is some cause for caution, we do not anticipate more than ‘market flatness’ into the early part of 2016.”
August new-order totals were also down markedly in most of the six regional indexes tracked in the USMTO program. Northeast regional orders fell to $50.96 million, down 22.3% from July to August, and down 16.8% from August 2014.
The Southeast region is the only one among six to report an increase for the month, up to $45.35 million, and 18.9% improvement over the previous month. The region’s year-to-date total is essentially even with last year’s total, down 0.7% compared to the January-August 2014 period.
In the North Central-East region, new orders for manufacturing technology fell 8.0% from July to $79.27 million in August. That figure also is down 12.8% from the August 2014 report, and the eight-month total for the North Central-East region is $762.74 million, down 10.1% from the comparable period last year.
In the North Central-West region, new orders in August totaled $51.11 million, down 11.0% from July and down 24.5% from the August 2014 report.
In the South Central region, new orders for metal cutting equipment amounted to only $12.5 million, down 42.9% from July and down 73.7% from August 2014. The region’s total new orders reported for the January-August period now stand at $225.18 million, down 53.6% from the same period of 2014.
Lastly, in the West region metal cutting machinery orders during August were $44.06 million, down 1.2% from July and down 12.9% from August 2014. Total manufacturing technology orders in the West region are now $427.0 million through the first eight months of this year, down 6.7% from the comparable result of last year.