US Cutting Tool Demand Falls Again, Reflecting Manufacturing Weakness

July 18, 2016
13 straight months of declining order volume indicates “anxiety” among manufacturing-sector consumers $165.68 million, -4.6% month/month … -4.1% year/year … -9.1% year-to-date  
The CTMR report on cutting-tool consumption is a useful index to overall manufacturing activity (comparable, as shown, to manufacturers’ shipments of durable goods) because tools must be replaced relatively frequently during manufacturing processes.

U.S. manufacturers consumed $165.68 million worth of cutting tools during May, a decline of 4.6% from the April total and a 4.1% drop from the May 2015 result. Cutting tool consumption is an index to overall manufacturing activity.

Cutting tool consumption is tracked by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology in the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR.) The report includes data from a majority of the cutting-tool manufacturers and distributors in domestic manufacturing. As cutting tools are a primary consumable product involved in the production process for multiple industrial sectors, the report provides an up-to-date index to U.S. manufacturers’ overall activity.

May represents the thirteenth consecutive month of declining orders for cutting tools, USCTI and AMT reported in their data release. With the release of the May data, the 2016 year-to-date total for cutting tool consumption stands at $855.45 million. Thus, through five months of activity 2016 is down 9.1% compared with 2015 results.

“The cutting tool industry continues to show negative results for month-to-month and year-to-date sales performance,” according to Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group, “which reflects the anxiety in the nation’s manufacturing industry. This condition will more than likely continue through the end of 2016.”

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.)

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