2011 U.S. Machine Tool Orders Hit $5.5 Billion

Feb. 14, 2012
Strong December drives new orders to 66.4% annual increase

Domestic manufacturers and machine shops ordered $519.98 million worth of machine tools and related technology during December 2011, a rise of 12.2% from the November total ($430.17 million), and a 12.7% increase from the December 2010 total ($461.48 million.) The result brought the 2011 total for new manufacturing technology orders to $5.5 billion, a 66.4% improvement over the full-year 2010 result. Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, called 2011 the “strongest year in more than a decade (for orders of machine tools) as manufacturing led the U.S. recovery into 2012.”

The data is contained in the monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, compiled by AMT and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association, from participating companies that produce and distribute machine tools and related capital equipment. The report includes actual data on domestically produced and imported machine tools and related equipment, and features data for nationwide and regional results.

“The 67% increase is nearly 20 points higher than forecasters predicted,” according to Woods, “which is great news in terms of reducing the foreign trade deficit. Manufactured goods represent more than 65% of trade, so the rise of U.S. manufactured products will help reduce our reliance on imports and support growth in exports.”

In the U.S. Northeast, December 2011 new orders rose 9.1% to $90.76 million, from $83.18 million reported for November. The figure was a 28% increase over the December 2010 result, and it brought the 12-month total for the Northeast to $852.96 million, 40.7% above the full-year 2010 result.

December’s new orders for manufacturing technology in the South totaled $91.29 million, 68.7% above the November result ($54.11 million) and 82.9% over the December 2010 total. Full-year sales in the region amounted to $712.88 million, a 59.0% improvement for the region in 2011 versus 2010.

In the Midwest, December new orders of machine tools and related technology totaled $178.83 million, an improvement of 19.8% over November ($149.30 million) and an 11.1% rise from the December 2010 result. The region’s 12-month total was $1.85 billion, an increase of 81.6% over the 2010 total.

New orders for machine tools and related equipment in the Central Region declined 10.1% during December, from $127.96 million to $115.01 million; the result was a decline of 6.7% from the December 2010 result, too. However, for the full year of 2011, the Central states’ new orders totaled $1,47 billion, 69.6% higher than the regional total for all of 2010.

In the West, December manufacturing technology orders totaled $44.10 million, a 10.0% decline from the November total ($49.00 million) and a 21.7% drop from the December 2010 result. The West’s 12-month total for 2011 was $620.66 million, an increase of 68.0% over the full-year 2011 result.

About the Author

Robert Brooks | Content Director

Robert Brooks has been a business-to-business reporter, writer, editor, and columnist for more than 20 years, specializing in the primary metal and basic manufacturing industries. His work has covered a wide range of topics, including process technology, resource development, material selection, product design, workforce development, and industrial market strategies, among others. Currently, he specializes in subjects related to metal component and product design, development, and manufacturing — including castings, forgings, machined parts, and fabrications.

Brooks is a graduate of Kenyon College (B.A. English, Political Science) and Emory University (M.A. English.)

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