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Cutting Tool Consumption Continues to Decline

Oct. 18, 2015
U.S. manufacturers’ production activity declined during August for the second consecutive month -5% vs. July 2015, -2% y/y Success is “proportional” to oil-and-gas, mining activity Year-to-year progress at risk
Consumption of cutting tools is an indicator of manufacturing activity, similar to the durable goods manufacturing index.

U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers consumed cutting tools totaling $168.8 million during August 2015, -5.1% compared to the $177.5 million consumed during July and -2.0% compared to the figure recorded for August 2014. The data is reported in the latest release of the Cutting Tool Market Report presented by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology.

The report is based on actual consumption totals reported by companies participating in the CTMR program, who represent a majority of cutting tools consumed in the U.S. The index is illustrative of overall manufacturing activity similar to durable goods manufacturing.

The CTMR differs from the monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report, presented by AMT, which tracks new orders of machine tools as a leading indicator of manufacturing confidence.

However, the CTMR portrays a similar lack of momentum in cutting tool activity as the USMTO has indicated through much of 2015. The current report shows activity declining for the sixth time in eight months.

“It appears as though cutting-tool industry success this year is directly proportional to the amount of business tied to Oil & Gas/Mining (sectors)” according to USCTI president Tom Haag. “Those that are heavily invested in this market are feeling the most pain.

“Additionally, the Agricultural Vehicle market has slowed below forecasts,” Haag continued. “While Automotive and Aerospace markets remain consistent, the cutting tool industry needs a recovery in Oil & Gas to return to broad growth. It will be a battle to surpass 2014 results in the fourth quarter.”

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