Machine Tool Orders Resumed Slower Pace in October

Dec. 9, 2014
Even with slowing demand, year-to-date total inches ahead of 2013 rate -35% Oct./Sept.; -6.2% Oct.'14 vs. Oct.'13 AMT sees growth in autos, medical, aero
September’s spike in machine tool orders could not be maintained, but the volume recorded may be enough to drive the current year’s total ahead of last year’s pace. $417.8 million orders

U.S. manufacturers ordered $417.80 million worth of new machine tools and related technology during October, a steep decline (-35.0%) from the September result, and also down 6.2% from the October 2013 total.  Even so, the new figure brings the year-to-date total for U.S. manufacturing technology orders to $4.15 billion, up 3.8% compared to the ten-month total for 2013.

The information is reported by AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology in its monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report. USMTO figures are based on actual data reported by participating manufacturers and distributors, and cover both domestically sourced and imported metal-cutting equipment and metal forming and fabricating equipment.

The month-to-month decline for October is not unexpected, coming as it does after IMTS 2014, staged during the previous month. That biennial event typically causes orders machine tool orders to spike for the concurrent month – as in September’s result, which totaled $647.63 million and rose 77.3% over the August figure.

The 3.8% edge for 2014 manufacturing technology orders versus the 2013 pace is the more significant figure, showing some progress during a year which has seen tepid demand and slow sales during most months until September.

“As we move toward the end of 2014, we saw much of what we predicted for manufacturing technology orders through the year – low growth, but stability for order volume,” according to AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “We continue to see growth in key industries, like automotive, medical, and aerospace. We believe the environment will stay ripe for capital equipment investment in 2015 and bring more good news for manufacturing overall.”

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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