Metalformers Expect Steady Business
Mar 15, 2012
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Metalforming companies in North America expect steady business conditions during the next three months, according to the March 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

In the March report, metalformers were asked to report their expectations for business conditions over the next three months:
* 46% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months, down from 51% in the February report
* 49% expect activity to remain unchanged, up from 45% in the February report
* 5% expect activity to decline, up from 4% in the February report

Metalformers expectations for incoming orders in the next three months:
* 47% forecast an increase in orders, down from 56% in the February report
* 47% expect no change, up from 33% in February
* 6% expect a decrease in orders, down from 11% in February

Metalformers daily shipping levels in March:
* 53% said shipping levels are above levels of three months ago, compared to 45% who said so in the February report
* 37% said shipping levels are the same as three months ago, compared to 45% in the February report
* 10% said they saw a decrease in shipping levels, the same percentage as in the February report

Metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff was steady: 7% in March was the same as in the February report, and is significantly better than the 12% reported in March 2011.

"The metalforming industry continues to benefit from overall growth in the manufacturing sector of our economy," said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. "Shipping levels are strong and orders continue to grow modestly or hold firm. Reports of difficulty hiring skilled employees are now widespread and companies are becoming more creative in filling open positions, including training current production employees so they can fill more highly skilled positions, and filling lower-skilled positions with new personnel or by using temporary workers."

The monthly report samples 134 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada to report an economic indicator for manufacturing. PMA is the full-service trade association for the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America.

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