Metalforming companies expect business conditions to remain virtually unchanged for a 3-month period, according to the Nov. 1, 2006 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. The report, released monthly, is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 157 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada.
When asked what they expect the trend in general economic activity to be over the next 3 months:
18 percent of participants reported that economic activity will improve (up from 17 percent in October)
38 percent believe conditions will worsen (up from 36 percent in October)
44 percent predict economic activity will remain the same (compared to 47 percent in October)
Metalforming companies also expect incoming orders to remain stable during the next 3 months:
27 percent of respondents predict an increase in orders (up from 24 percent in October)
41 percent anticipate a decrease in orders (compared to 40 percent in October)
32 percent forecast no change (down from 36 percent in October)
"Fourth quarter shipping levels of many metalforming companies have declined due to production cutbacks in the automotive industry," said William Gaskin, PMA president. "Of more concern is the continued lack of optimism for early 2007, as expressed by the 38 percent that believe the general economic trend will be lower over the next 3 months and the 41 percent who reported that their expectations for incoming orders for November through January will be lower than over the past 3 months. A more typical situation is that expectations for new orders and general economic growth in January would result in a more positive outlook in our November report."
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