The latest monthly total for U.S. manufacturers’ new machine-tool order shows manufacturers are continuing to plan for capacity expansion and new production programs. According to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report for August, new orders for machine tools ("manufacturing technology") rose to $501 million during the month, up 25.5% from July and up 28.1% from August 2017.
Through the first eight months of the year, U.S. manufacturers have ordered $3.45 billion worth of manufacturing technology, up 22.9% versus January-August 2017.
The USMTO is compiled and issued by AMT – the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology, based on data supplied by participating producers and distributors of metal-cutting and metal-forming and -fabricating equipment. The report 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.
Machine-tool orders are a leading of future manufacturing activity, meaning the producers of manufactured parts expect their year-long expansion to continue well into 2019.
AMT - Assn. for Manufacturing Technology
“Orders of a half-billion dollars in August were a major surprise, particularly as it occurred in the weeks immediately preceding the most successful IMTS ever produced,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “The current acceleration in manufacturing is illustrated in the continued growth of backlog for durable goods.”
“The only way to address that trend is to put more people and equipment in place,” Woods continued. “Therefore, there was no typical ‘summer pause’ usually associated with August, as manufacturers have a need to increase capacity now.”
AMT noted that trade issues and supply chain delays may yet affect the equipment market in the final months of 2018, explaining that the manufacturing sector relies on imports of technology as well as on exports of finished parts for its continued success.
The USMTO report includes regional data on new orders as well as nationwide results, and the August results appear to have been widely distributed. Strong results were evident in the regions where automotive and general industrial manufacturing (Southeast, +43.4% month/month; North Central-East, +5.0%; North Central-West +101.4%) as well as in areas where oil-and-gas and energy markets (South Central, +60.4% YTD; West 29.4%YTD) drive demand.
Only the Northeast region delivered negative results for August, with total manufacturing technology orders declining 20.5% from July.