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Cutting Tool Demand Rose 14.6% in 2022

Feb. 16, 2023
Falling orders in the closing months of the year did not alter the double-digit improvements in monthly purchases of cutting tools, which finished the year at $2.2 billion.
Machine shops and other U.S. manufacturers continued to reduce their cutting tool purchases during December 2022, the total dropping -3.1% from November to $188.4 million. It was the second-consecutive month for falling order values, but the December figure was 14.6% higher than the December 2021 total however, and it brought the 12-month total for 2022 to $2.2 billion – a 10.8% improvement over the 2021 total for cutting tool consumption.

“Don’t sweat the month-to-month declines in the past two months; the story is in the year-over-year and year-to-date double-digit increases,” offered Pat McGibbon, chief knowledge officer for AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology. “The next 12 months look bright for 2023 in tooling, as record backlogs in material-removal equipment orders convert into shipments and expanded capacity.”

Cutting tools are consumable products, the purchases of which serve as an index to overall manufacturing activity due to the range of market segments driving machine shops’ purchases. The data is compiled by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology for their monthly Cutting Tool Market Report, which represents actual purchases of cutting tools as reported by manufacturers and distributors that comprise a majority of the domestic market for cutting tools.

“In January, the U.S. labor market had its best month in job hirings since 1969, and cutting tool sales remained steady,” explained USCTI president Jeff Major. “The consensus is that the cutting tool industry looks positive for at least the first six months of this year. Economic pressures still exist, and the Federal Reserve continues to raise interest rates to stave off inflation.”

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