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US Cutting Tool Consumption Inching Upward

April 28, 2021
Orders for cutting tools rose 3.3% in February, indicating “slow improvement” in manufacturing activity despite supply-chain weakness, rising material problems, and some workforce difficulties, according to the US Cutting Tool Institute.

Machine shops and other U.S. ordered $149.5 million worth of cutting tools during February, +3.3% more than the January order volume ($144.8 million) but -17.1% less than February 2020’s total ($180.3 million.)  Through the first two months of 2021, U.S. cutting tool orders total of $294.3 million, putting 2021 down -20.2% versus last year.

The data is supplied by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology in their monthly Cutting Tool Market Report.

“The recently completed February cutting tool sales statistics continues the trend of slow improvement in our industry,” commented Bret Tayne, president of USCTI. “Other sectors of the economy appear to be recovering at a faster pace. Factors such as supply-chain challenges, reluctance in a portion of the workforce to return, and rising material prices may be causing some drag on the cutting-tool industry’s emergence from the COVID downturn.”

Cutting-tool consumption is an indicator of overall manufacturing activity, because cutting tools are used to produce components used by virtually every industrial sector.

CTMR data is collected from participating companies that represent the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools, and the wide application of cutting tools across multiple industries is comparable to durable-goods orders, according to the report's authors.

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