Metalforming companies expect a continued decline in business conditions in the next three months, according to the November 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.
Only 11% of participants in the November report expect economic activity to improve in the next three months (down from 20% in the October report), 61% expect activity will remain unchanged (56% in the October report), and 28% expect activity will decline (24% in the October report).
Only 21% of metalforming companies expect an increase in incoming orders in the next three months (26% in the October report), 49% expect no change (45% in the October report), and 30% expect a decrease (29% in the October report).
27% of participants report that average daily shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (38% in the October report), 47% report shipping levels are the same as three months ago (44% in the October report), and 26% report a decrease in shipping levels (18% in the October report).
Metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff jumped to 17% in November, from 8% in October. In November 2010, companies reported 15% of their workforce on short time or layoff.
“PMA members are signaling caution regarding the general economy, most likely because it continues to be impacted by political dysfunction with the deficit committee deadlocked and apparently ready to allow action on the U.S. deficit to be a 2012 campaign issue, rather than addressing it in a timely manner,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “However, year-to-date, the typical PMA member reports 12% growth in shipments for the first 9 months compared to 2010 and most expect similar growth in 2012. Housing starts have been at an annual rate of more than 600,000 units for four of the past five months, manufacturing output grew by 0.5% in October and inventories remain lean. PMA’s November Business Conditions report indicated that while expectations for current shipping levels softened somewhat, expectations are still more positive than they were in November 2010.”
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