The January 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report showed metalforming companies are optimistic about business conditions during the next three months.
The monthly report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 119 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
In term of economic activity, the January report shows that:
• 47% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (up from 40% in December)
• 43% predict that activity will remain unchanged (46% in December)
• 10% report that activity will decline (down from 14% in December)
Metalforming companies expect improvement in incoming orders for the next three months:
• 52% of participants predict an increase in orders (up from 44% in December)
• 36% anticipate no change (compared to 40% in December)
• 12% predict a decrease in orders (down from 16% in December)
Average daily shipping levels remained steady in January:
• 26% of participants report shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (compared to 27% in December)
• 50% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (up from 38%)
• 24% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 35% in December)
In terms of metalforming employment, 12% of metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in January, down from 16% in December – the lowest level since October 2007 when only 8% of companies had workers on short time or layoff. The level is much lower than one year ago – in January 2010, 52% reported employees on short time or layoff.
“In spite of a modest year-end softening in orders, metalforming companies experienced significantly improved business conditions in 2010 and anticipate continued growth in 2011,” says William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “On average, for the first 11 months of 2010, metalforming companies reported a 41% increase in orders and a 37% increase in shipments compared to 2009."
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