AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology
Sales of machine tools and related technology have had difficulty maintaining consistent monthtomonth trends over the past year though the overall result shows a slight annual improvement through October

Machine Tool Sales Slip After IMTS Surge

Dec. 13, 2012
“… On pace for a record-setting year …” Year-to-date results decline in 3 of 5 sectors

U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools and related technology fell 31.3% in October, to $459.16 million from September’s total of $668.38 million. The latter number, revised upward slightly from original reports, included sales during the period covered by IMTS 2012, and represented one of the strongest monthly totals in the history of AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report. The latest figure also indicates a slight decline, -0.1%, from the October 2011 total of $459.41 million.

Notwithstanding the reversal, the 2012 10-month total for machine tool sales now stands at $4,753.68 million, up 5.3% compared with the comparable period of 2011.

“Orders continue to be on pace for a record-setting year, and a monthly drop was fully expected in the month following IMTS,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods.

The USMTO report is prepared on a monthly basis by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the trade association that represents producers and distributors of machine tools, tooling systems, and related technologies. The report covers sales of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment, on a nationwide and regional basis. The report is based on the actual sales data reported by participating companies.

“While manufacturing continues to play a strong role in economic recovery, our main concern heading toward the end of the year is that lawmakers do what’s necessary to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and the implications it could have on the broader economy,” Woods continued.

Regional relapses

The regional sales totals for October showed some more dramatic reversals from the September results. In the Northeast, October manufacturing technology orders dropped 19.7% to $63.69 million, from September’s $79.27 million. The new result down 3.6% versus the October 2011 figure, $66.07 million.

Also, with a year-to-date total of $640.83 million, the Northeast region’s 2012 sales total is down 5.7% compared to the 10-month result for 2011, $679.30 million.

Southern regional manufacturing technology orders fell 41.1% to $60.69 million in October, from $102.99 million in September. However, the new result 12.8% higher than the $53.82 reported for October 2011. The South’s year-to-date total is $683.23 million, 15.3% higher than the %592.60 million reported for the January-October 2011 period.

In the Midwest, October machine tool orders totaling $162.75 million meant a drop of 20% from the previous month’s result, $203.33 million. Still, the new total is a 10.3% increase over the October 2011 total, $147.57 million, when compared with October a year ago.

With a year-to-date total of $1,530.30 million, Midwest regional sales are up 4.9% over $1,458.36 recorded during the first 10 months of 2011.

Central U.S. regional sales of machine tools and related technology totaled $124.77 million during October, a 30.2% drop-off from September’s $178.71 million result. The new figure is also a decline of 8.8% from the October 2011 figure, $136.78 million.

At $1,341.76 million, the Central region’s 2012 year-to-date total is 6.8% higher than $1,256.20 million recorded from January through October 2011.

Finally, the Western region posted new orders of $47.27 million in October, down 54.6% from September’s $104.07 million. The latest month also shows 14.3% decline from the October 2011, $$55.17 million. The region’s year-to-date total, $557.56 million, is 5.7% above the 10-month figure for 2011, $527.65 million.

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.