Steel Products

Metal Forming Companies Expect Growth in Next 3 Months

Written by Sandy Williams

Written by: Sandy Williams

Metal forming companies are expecting a spike in business conditions in the next three months according to survey data released Wednesday by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

Survey data shows 32 percent of participants are expecting conditions to get better in the next three months (up from 22 percent in December) and 50 percent continue to expect unchanged conditions.

Incoming orders are expected to increase in the next three months as well, with 44 percent compared to 33 percent in December expecting a rise in orders.

Average daily shipping levels dropped slightly in January with less participants reporting an increase in levels—21 percent versus 27 percent. Shipping levels appeared the same as three months ago to 38 percent of participants and 41 percent reporting a decrease in shipping levels.

Fewer companies reported workers on short time or layoff in January, down to 15 percent from 17 percent in December. The January figure is higher, however, than the 12 percent reported a year ago.

“The January uptick in the ISM manufacturing index into the ‘growth’ range, continued expectations of modest growth in the automotive sector for 2013, along with a strengthening housing/construction market support the modest optimism expressed by PMA member companies in the January Business Conditions Report,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “PMA member companies were somewhat more optimistic one year ago about the outlook for business conditions than they are today (reflecting soft orders and shipments in Q-4 2012). However, growth in the automotive market is expected to continue and homebuilding/commercial construction is starting to show signs of recovery. PMA members seem to support modest growth in GDP in 2013, perhaps in the 4 to 6% range.”

The monthly Business Conditions Report is based on a sampling of 131 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada and is considered an economic indicator for manufacturing.

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