AMT - the Association for Manufacturing Technology
January US manufacturing technology orders declined in January putting 2012 on a 122 yearonyear lag

Declining Machine Tool Orders to Start 2013

March 11, 2013
-26.5% month-to-month decline “Typical” drop for December to January Strong Southeast regional showing

U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools and related technology totaled $370.62 million during January, starting the year with a decline of 26.5% versus the December 2012 total, and down -12.2% from the January 2012 total.

The total of machine units sold during January was 2,040, including metal cutting machines and metal forming and fabricating machines. The figure indicates a decline of 19.9% from December machine units (2,548), but a drop of less than 1% (-0.24%) from the January 2012 unit total.

The data is reported in the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders monthly survey, prepared by AMT - the Association for Manufacturing Technology and representing actual values for reported by participating companies. The monthly survey covers all sources of manufacturing technology, from domestic sources and imports.

“The drop-off between December and January is typical for technology orders, and it’s important to keep in mind that orders were exceptionally strong at the end of 2012, outperforming much of the broader economy,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods.

Last year’s U.S. manufacturing technology orders peaked in September 2012, rising 40.7% for the month that coincided with IMTS 2012, and marking the highest monthly sales total of the past two years. The rest of the year’s monthly results were more evenly distributed, and the January 2013 order total is less than for any single month of the previous year. 

“While the manufacturing economy continues to be strong, we may see its growth undercut by fiscal uncertainty due to the impact from sequestration,” Woods concluded.

The USMTO also reports regional results, and for the first time AMT has organized the results according to six geographic regions; through December 2012 the results were presented according to five regions.

New regional reporting

For the Northeast region, new orders for manufacturing technology totaled $50.0 million during January, a decline of 34.1% from December’s result ($75.83 million), and down 17% from the January 2012 result ($60.27 million.)

Inthe Southeast, manufacturing technology orders declined 47.6% from December’s result, from $67.84 million to $35.53 million in January. Still, the latest figure is 34.4% higher than the $26.44 million recorded for January 2012.

The North Central-East regionhad January orders for machine tools and related technology totaling $98.54 million, a decline of 15.1% from the December 2012 figure ($116.01 million), and down 13.1% from the January 2012 figure ($113.5 million.)

The North Central-West region had new orders totaling $72.41 million, a drop of 34.1% from December 2012’s result ($109.92 million), and a decline of 4.0% from the January 2012 result ($75.40 million.)

New orders for manufacturing technology in the South Central region amounted to $72.44 million during January, 8.1% higher than December’s $67.02 million but down 25.8% from the January 2012 figure ($97.66 million.)

Finally, the West region’s new orders for manufacturing technology fell 38.6% from December to January, from $67.89 million to $41.69 million. The latest month also shows a 15.3% decline from the January 2012 result, $49.22 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. 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.)

AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology
US Manufacturing Technology Orders completed 2012 with a 26 improvement over the prior 12 months and with a relatively stable 12month moving average
AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology
Total US manufacturing technology orders have had a generally downward trend during 2012 ndash though historically strong results for September have kept the annual total in positive territory
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

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