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Metalformers Expect Improved Business in 1Q 2012
Jan 25, 2012
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Metalforming companies expect improved business conditions in the next three months, according to the January 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

Economic Activity. The January report shows that:
• 41% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months (up from 33% in the December 2011 report)
• 54% predict activity will remain unchanged (57% in the December report)
• 5% expect activity will decline (10% in December)

Incoming Orders. Metalforming companies expect a spike in incoming orders during the next three months, the association said, with:
• 51% anticipating an increase in orders (up from 40% in December)
• 40% forecasting no change (48% in December)
• 9% predicting a decrease in orders (down from 12% in December)

Shipping Levels. Average daily shipping levels improved in January, with:
• 30% of participants reporting shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 25% in December)
• 48% report shipping levels are the same as three months ago (44% in December)
• 22% report a decrease in shipping levels (31% in December)

Employment. The percentage of metalforming companies with some of their workforce on short time or layoff remained unchanged at 12% from December 2011 to January 2012. The percentage matches data reported one year ago, in January 2011.

“The metalforming industry continues to exhibit a positive outlook for 2012, despite the uncertainties created by the lack of political willpower in Washington, D.C., in Congress and the Administration, to address fundamental issues such as taxes, labor law changes and a wide range of growing regulatory obstacles that impact manufacturing,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Data from PMA’s 2011 Orders & Shipments Survey peg 2011 calendar year growth for new orders at 8 percent vs 2010, with shipments up year-over-year by 11 percent compared to 2010."

Gaskin added: "Based on PMA’s January Business Conditions Report, the first quarter of 2012 will provide a strong start to the year, consistent with the underlying strength in manufacturing which is helping to lead a slow, steady economic recovery.”

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