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Manufacturers’ Demand for Cutting Tools is Flat

Monthly data shows consumption of cutting tools slipping month/month and year/year, but even YTD, reflecting global market "uncertainty”, according to AMT

U.S. manufacturers, including machine shops, purchased $195.9 million worth of cutting tools during September 2019, according to data released by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology. The continued weakness in cutting tool consumption, especially versus the strong demand of 2018, is reflective of the overall lack of confidence in domestic manufacturing.

Cutting-tool consumption is cited as a reliable indicator of manufacturing activity by the sponsors of the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report, as those products represent a primary consumable factor in manufacturing processes.  – the cutting tool. Analysis of cutting tool consumption is a leading indicator of both upturns and downturns in U.S. manufacturing activity, as it is a true measure of actual production levels.

The CTMR is compiled jointly by AMT and USCTI, and consists of actual order values reported by participating cutting-tool suppliers who represent a majority of the domestic market.

The September result reveals a -4.3% decline in consumption from August 2019, and a -7.0% drop from the September 2018 consumption level.

However, through nine months of date, U.S. cutting-tool consumption for 2019 is nearly even with January-September 2018 total, up 0.2% at $1.8 billion.

“The September numbers focus on the one word that describes our everyday attitudes — ‘uncertainty,’ and not having a clue of what to expect from our domestic economy and the global economy,” according to Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group. “So, the further understanding of this issue is ever-present from the media, political wars in Washington, the global trade wars, and the overall effects of these issues on the global economies. The changes are not recessionary, but the changes are concerning.”

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