Domestic machine shops and other manufacturers ordered $446.8 million worth of new capital goods during December 2017, bringing total new orders for the 12-month period to $4.52 billion, and closing out a year that demonstrated U.S. manufacturing recovery on a wide scale.
The figures are provided by the Association for Manufacturing Technology in its monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report. The results show new orders rising 5.5% from November but falling -8.2% from the December 2016 totals.
Nevertheless, the 12-month total indicates an overall improvement of 8.0% over the January-December 2016 results.
“The year ended as market growth looks to pick up speed in the first quarter of 2018 with the only constraint to growth being builders ability to deliver product fast enough,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “This has been exacerbated by recent rebounds in both the EU and Chinese manufacturing sectors significantly increasing the demand side of the equation.”
Assn. for Manufacturing Technology
USMTO data summarizes actual totals for machine tool sales, nationwide and within six regions. The figures are provided to AMT by participating companies that produce and distribute metal-cutting and metal-forming and -fabricating equipment, including domestically manufactured and imported machinery and equipment. The volume of new orders for manufacturing technology is a leading economic indicator of economic growth, according to AMT, as manufacturers in various industries invest in capital equipment as they anticipate near-term production increases.
Regional new-order results generally confirmed the direction of manufacturing trends, though the figures were not “positive” in every respect. In the Northeast, manufacturing technology new orders rose 4.6% from November to $70.35 million in December. That result brought total 2017 new orders for manufacturing technology in the region to $765.2 million, -9.5% versus the 2016 total.
The Southeast region had metal-cutting equipment new orders of $47.45 million during December, up 2.6% from November and up 9.7% from December 2016. Total 2017 manufacturing technology new orders for the Southeast were $540.85 million, -2.1% from the 12-month total for 2016.
In the North Central-East region, December new orders for manufacturing technology fell slightly (-0.2%) from November but were 3.3% higher than the December 2016 result. The 12-month regional total for manufacturing technology new orders was $1.12 billion, or 10.9% higher than the previous year’s total.
The North Central-West region had total manufacturing technology orders of $96.76 million in December, 3.5% higher than the November result, and 25.9% higher than the December 2016 result. For the 12-month period, the region’s total new orders were valued at $870.9 million, 12.6% higher than the 2016 regional total.
The South-Central region posted metal-cutting equipment new orders totaling $42.89 million for December, 25.9% higher than November and 17.4% higher than December 2016. The full-year total for manufacturing technology orders in the South Central was $422.2, 57.7% higher than the 2016 12-month total for the region.
Finally, in the West region, December metal-cutting equipment new orders rose to $80.07 million, up 3.2% from November but -17.8% lower than the December 2016 result. The January-December 2017 regional total for manufacturing technology new orders was $796.84 million, which was 8.6% higher than the 2016 full-year result.