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First-Half Machine Tool Orders Up 22%

Aug. 13, 2018
Demand for new equipment slipped 13.8% in latest monthly total, but rose overall to $2.55 billion through June

U.S. manufacturers ordered $417 million worth of new machine tools and related capital equipment (“manufacturing technology”) during June 2018, 13.8% less than during May but still 4.6% more than during June 2017. With the latest results, the first six months of 2018 have seen new orders for manufacturing technology rise to $2.55 billion, 22.4% over the comparable period of 2017.

The figures are drawn from the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report, issued by AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology. The monthly report is based on data supplied by participating companies that produce and distribute metal-cutting and metal-forming and -fabricating equipment. It includes data for domestically manufactured and imported machinery and equipment, and the results are based on actual order totals, nationwide and in six regional markets.

“While many manufacturers are expressing concerns about trade wars, it doesn’t seem that it has slowed their need for additional capacity, and orders for new capital equipment remain strong,” according to AMT president Doug Woods.

In addition to the total for new orders nationwide, USMTO offers insights into manufacturing technology demand in six regional markets. Only the Northeast region posted any month-to-month increase in demand. With new orders for metal-cutting equipment rising to $77.81 million, up 11.7% from May to June and up 32.2% from June 2017. The Northeast region’s January-to-June new order total is$432.98 million, a 26.4% rise over last year’s result.

In the South-Central region, new orders fell 11.0% from May to June, to $59.93 million. That represents a 10.8% improvement over the June 2017 result and raises the regional, year-to-date new order total for metal-cutting equipment to $289.71 million, a 21.6% YTD increase.

The North-Central-East region had new orders for metal-cutting equipment totaling $87.36 million during June, 26.3% less than during May and 16.6% less than during June 2017. The six-month regional total for metal-cutting equipment is $562.28 million, 14.0% higher than the previous year’s January-June result.

In the North-Central-West region, new orders for metal-cutting equipment slipped 12.5% from May to June, to $77.92 million. That result is nearly even (+0.5%) with the region’s June 2017 total, and it brings the YTD total to $470.57 million, or 28.4% higher than last year’s total.

Metal-cutting equipment orders in the South-Central region slipped 25.4% from May to $37.13 million for June. The latest result is 26.4% higher than the comparable figure for June 2017, and it raises the regional new-order total for the current year to $259.57 million, a 39.4% increase over the 2017 figure.

Finally, in the West region, new orders for metal-cutting equipment slipped 15.1% from May to June, to $66.85 million for the latter month. The January-June total for new orders of metal-cutting equipment in the West region is $443.51 million, a 16.6% increase over last year’s comparable result.