Metalforming companies are expecting steady business in the next three months, according to the March 2013 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.
Metalformers' expectation of economic activity:
* 36% of participants expect economic activity to improve in the next three months, down from 37% in the February PMA report
* 58% expect activity will remain unchanged, from 55% in the February report
* 6% expect activity will decline, from 8% in the February report
Metalformers' expectation of incoming orders:
* 46% of participants expect an increase in orders, from 50% in the February report
* 43% expect no change, from 39% in February
* 11% expect a decrease in orders, unchanged from the February report
March average daily shipping levels were up slightly:
* 42% of participants report that shipping levels are up from three months ago, compared to 40% in the February 2013 report
* 42% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago, from 37% in the February 2013 report
* 16% report a decrease in shipping levels, from 23% in the February 2013 report
Metalformers with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff: 11% in March, a big drop from 19% in February. This is the lowest level since March 2012's 10%.
"PMA's manufacturing member companies reported fairly strong orders and shipments in the first quarter of 2013 vs the last quarter of 2012," said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. "However, compared to the first quarter of 2012, they are operating at similar levels. In calendar year 2012, orders and shipments started strong, then fell off substantially in early summer, recovered somewhat in early fall and then fell sharply again at year-end. In 2013, the trend line looks pretty similar so far. The real question will come as summer approaches, as to whether there will be a pull-back in consumer spending that impacts the rest of the year."
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