September U.S. Machine Tool Sales Increased 66.1%

Nov. 9, 2010
IMTS, other factors push consumption to a two-year high

U.S. sales of machine tools and related equipment rose 66.1% during September, from $246.42 million to $399.76 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association and The Association For Manufacturing Technology in their monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Consumption report. The total also indicates a 156.8% increase over September 2009 sales ($155.69 million), and brings total 2010 year-to-date sales to $2,090.27 million, a 74.1% improvement over the nine-month total for 2009.

The September report is noteworthy because it includes data from the period covered by IMTS 2010, the industry’s biennial trade show. The monthly USMTC report is compiled jointly by AMTDA and AMT, based on actual sales date provided by participating companies and representing production and distribu-tion of manufacturing technology. “Manufacturing technology” is the term used to cover all sales of ma-chining systems and supplies, from raw materials and finished products.

“September 2010 was a watershed in the recovery from the recession of 2008-9,” according to AMTDA president Peter Borden. “The 1,992 units sold this month is the highest number since September of 2008, and demonstrates the resilience and staying power of the U.S. manufacturing base.

“More remarkably,” Borden continued, “this was done while many factories are running below the ca-pacity levels that require capital goods purchases, despite the tight credit, and in spite of questions about government debt and potential tax increases. The catalysts of the successful IMTS, the weaker dollar, and the passage of bonus depreciation paid surprising and long awaited dividends.”

“Bonus depreciation” is a reference to the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which both AMTDA and AMT urged the Congress and Obama Administration to enact. It reinstates (through the end of 2010) a 50% depreciation tax deduction for capital expenditures first instituted in 2008 but that expired at the end of 2009. It allows businesses to deduct 50% of the adjusted costs of capital expenditures with useful lives of 20 years or less, including machinery, equipment, and land improvements.

The USMTC also provides regional U.S. consumption data for domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. For the September report, the Northeast region recorded sales of $64.44 million, 66.3% above sales for August ($38.76 million) and 77.3% above September 2009 sales. Year-to-date sales in the Northeast region stand at $362.73 million, 53.4% more than the nine-month total for 2009.

In the South, September manufacturing technology consumption amounted to $66.85 million, an in-crease of 119.9% over the August sales total ($30.40 million) and a 389.4% increase over September 2009 regional sales. For the year to date, the South has reported sales of $308.65 million, 86.4% above sales for the January-September 2009 period.

Midwest regional sales during September totaled $121.80 million, 49.0% more than during August ($81.75 million) and 157.6% more than during September 2009. The nine-month total for sales in the Mid-west stands at $629.19 million, an improvement of 84.4% over sales for the comparable period of 2009.

The Central region reported manufacturing technology consumption totaling $114.99 million during September, 77.0% more than the August total ($64.95 million) and 238.3% above the September 2009 total. Year-to-date sales total $561.03 million in the Central region, an increase of 94.0% versus the nine-month figure for 2009.

Sales in the Western region amounted to $31.68 million during to September, a rise of 27.5% over August ($24.84 million) and 29.8% over September 2009. The Western regional year-to-date sales total is $228.66 million, an increase of 36.0% over the January-September 2009 period.

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