U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers purchased $210.4 million worth of cutting tools during March, a 2.3% rise from February’s total and a 1.6% increase over the March 2018 result. Through the first quarter of 2019, total domestic cutting-tool consumption amounts to $631.1 million, 8.6% higher than the January-March 2018 total.
The positive result may offset some doubt about overall manufacturing activity, following declines in cutting-tool demand during the last quarter of 2018.
“The cutting-tool industry had a better first quarter in 2019 as compared to 2018. This positive performance would be helped if China and the USA could reach a new trade agreement that would provide stability to the markets,” stated Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group, one of the collaborators in presenting the monthly Cutting Tool Market Report.
Cutting-tool consumption is an index to manufacturing activity because such products represent "the primary consumable in the manufacturing process," according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which together compile the CTMR.
The CTMR results are based on actual totals reported by participating companies, and represent a significant market share of the U.S. market for cutting tools.
“Growth is good, even if it is not growing as fast as it used to (grow)," according to Costikyan Jarvis, president of Jarvis Cutting Tools. "You can see that in March’s cutting-tool usage data."
Jarvis continued: "The year-over-year growth is now 8.6%, which is still good, but not as good as the past number, which showed over 12% growth. … We all like growth, and the March data continue to point to growth in 2019.”