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U.S. Machine Tool Sales Off 9.4% in August

Industry sustaining momentum with impressive 101% year-to-date increase

U.S. manufacturers’ new orders of machine tools and related technology declined 9.4% from July to August, from $508.27 million to $460.61 million, resuming an up-and-down pattern from early 2011 after two consecutive months of very strong increases. Even so, the new monthly total is up 88.5% versus the August 2010 figure ($244.35 million), and through eight months the market sector is doubling its 2010 pace. The year-to-date total for “manufacturing technology orders” is $3,439.21 million, 101% ahead of the January-August 2010 result ($1,710.84 million).

The information is contained in the monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report produced by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology and AMTDA, the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association. Together, the two groups represent manufacturers and distributors of machine tools, cutting tools and accessories, and related equipment and technology, and their report based on actual consumption data (including imports) collected from participating companies.

“Despite news reports that wider economic growth may be stagnating, the manufacturing technology industry is sustaining its momentum,” according to AMT president Douglas Woods. “With orders still up substantially over last year, there is clearly optimism within the industry as firms are seeing future growth opportunities that merit new capital investment.”

The USMTO report also includes regional results. New orders for machine tools and related technology rose 9.5% in the Northeast region, from $58.72 million total in July to $64.32 million in August, and that figure is a 64.4% improvement over 2010. With an eight-month total of $500.03 million, the Northeast has a 64.0% edge over its own 2010 pace.

The U.S. Central region showed impressive improvement, rising 30.5% from $107.34 million in July to $140.07 million in August. It was a 115.5% over August 2010 machine tool sales in the region, and indicates a regional year-to-date total of $928.03 million, 105.6% above the comparable 2010 figure.

August new orders declined 23.0% in the Southern region, from $75.55 million in July to $58.18 million in the latest total. The new result is a 90.1% improvement over the August 2010 result, and brings the 2011 year-to-date total to $440.45 million, 81.1% better than the January-August 2010 figure.

In the Midwest, the regional machine tool sales declined 9.3% from July to August, from $159.53 million to $144.68 million. The August 2011 regional total is a 77.4% rise over the August 2010 total, and the year-to-date total of $1,162.38 million indicates a 128.9% increase over the comparable 2010 total.

Finally, in the Western region the August sales of manufacturing technology decline 50.2% for the month, from $107.13 million in July to $53.35 million. Still, the new figure is a 90.1% improvement from August 2010. The West has a year-to-date sales total of $408.31 million, 100.6% higher than the January-August 2010 result.

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