U.S. Machine Tool Sales Rose 14.5% in May

July 10, 2012
U.S. manufacturers’ new orders of machine tools and related equipment rose 14.5% in May, to $473.92 million from a revised figure of $413.85 million in April. The figures represent a total of 2,235 actual units sold in the recent month, versus 2,197 units sold in the previous month. AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology compiles the monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, along with regional results, from actual sales reported by participating manufacturers and distributors, including both domestically produced machines and equipment as well as imports.

After a very strong close to 2011, the current year has seen less consistent demand from U.S. manufacturers and machine shops. The May result, however, brings the 2012 total for manufacturing technology orders to $2,235.37 million, up 12.1% versus the first five months of 2011. The May figure also represents an improvement of 19.0% over May 2011 sales ($398.10 million.)

“The latest USMTO figures indicate both sound health and continued expansion in durable goods manufacturing,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “This is backed up by other key economic indicators, including an upward revision in housing starts and a strong showing in durable goods orders.

“While the latest PMI saw a slight dip,” Woods continued, “overall indications are that manufacturing will continue to lead the way in the general economy.”

Manufacturing technology orders were showed much greater strength in some regions of the country than others. In the Northeast, for example, new orders for machine tools and related equipment totaled $63.68 million, a 6.0% drop from $67.72 million in April and a 0.6% decline from May 2011 ($64,029 million.) as for the year to date, sales in the Northeast stand at $313.37 million, up 2.4% versus the January-May period.

In the South, new orders for manufacturing technology rose 60.3% in May, to $77.67 million from $48.44 million in April, and 40.0% over the %55,469 recorded in May 2011. The current year-to-date sales total for the Southern region is $293.28 million, 14.3% better than the total for the first five months of 2011.

New orders for machine tools rose to $153.17 million for May in the Midwest, up 19.8% over the $127.87 million total for April, and up 4.9% over $146,086 million recorded for May 2011. For the first five months of 2012, the Midwest total is $738.08 million, up 7.9% compared with January-May 2011.

The Central states showed a 2.3% increase in manufacturing technology orders during May, up to $134.85 million from $131.76 million in April, but that figure is a 40.7% increase over the May 2011 total, $95,826 million. For the first five months of 2011, the Central region has recorded total sales of $675.93 million, a 22.7% improvement over the like period of 2011.

Finally, the Western region reported manufacturing technology orders of $44.54 million in May, a 17.0% improvement over the April total of $38.07 million, and a 21.6% improvement over the May 2011 total of $36,637 million. The year-to-date has seen new orders totaling $214.70 million in the Western region, 9.4% above the January-May 2011 total.

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.)