Metalformers Expect Softening Business
May 21, 2012
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Metalforming companies in the United States and Canada expect a softening in business conditions in the next three months, according to the May 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

The May report, sampling 126 North American metalforming companies, shows that:
* 24% expect metalforming economic activity to improve, from 37% in April)
* 60% expect no change in activity, from 51% in April
* 16% expect activity to decline, from 12%

Metalforming companies overall are also anticipating a fewer incoming orders in the next three months:
* 34% expect an increase in orders (43% in April)
* 46% expect no change (41%)
* 20% expect a decrease (16%)

May saw a decline in average daily shipping levels:
* 37% reported shipping levels above those of three months ago (46% in April)
* 44% reported shipping levels unchanged from three months ago (41%)
* 19% reported lower shipping levels (13%)

Metalforming companies with some of their workforce on short time or layoff: 10% in May 2012, up from 9% in April 2012, but lower than 14% in May 2011.

"PMA's manufacturing member companies report softer, but still quite positive, business conditions," said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. "For the first three months of 2012, metalforming companies reported strong orders and shipments, up 10 percent vs. Q-1 in 2011, so the general uptick in manufacturing that has led the economic recovery continues to be reflected in our numbers. Compared with PMA's May 2011 Business Conditions Report, the 2012 outlook is similar in that softening is expected over the next few months, but with 10 percent growth in the first quarter, business levels continue to be more positive."

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