U.S. Machine Tool Orders Fell 26.5% in January

Some increases at the regional level as 2012 starts of slightly better than last year

U.S. manufacturers and machine shops ordered $401.69 million worth of machine tools and related technology during January, a 26.5% decline from the December order total ($519.98 million) but a 8.4% increase over January 2011 ($370.46 million.) The results represent actual totals based on information supplied by companies participating in the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders reporting program, administered by AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology. The report includes regional data as well as nationwide results.

“January’s increase in manufacturing technology orders over 2011 is great in light of lower forecasts by experts,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. During the last quarter of 2011, AMT and various other trade association representing machine tool manufacturers had predicted a decline in equipment orders, following a prolonged rebound in demand from the 2009 recession.

“I think the continued growth highlights manufacturers’ increasing confidence in future growth and that their bottom lines are being channeled into investments in advanced manufacturing technologies,” Woods continued.

In the Northeast, manufacturers’ January orders for machine tools and related technology totaled $56.01 million, or 43.2% less than the $98.67 million total reported for December 2011. However, the new figure is 12.5% better than the January 2011 result.

Southern manufacturers ordered $35.57 million worth of manufacturing technology products during January, a 62.1% decrease from the previous month’s orders ($93.93 million) and a 33.6% decrease versus the region’s January 2011 results.

In the Midwest, January new orders for manufacturing technology amounted to $141.71 million, 23.8% less than December’s $186.07 million total, but an improvement of 24.9% over the January 2011 figure.

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