Written by: Sandy Williams
Metalforming companies are expecting a spike in business conditions during the next three months.
The February 2013 Precision Metalforming Association reported that 37 percent of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (up from 32 percent in January), 55 percent believe that activity will remain unchanged (up from 50 percent last month) and only 8 percent anticipate that activity will decline (down significantly from 18 percent in January).
Orders are also expected to strengthen in the next three months with 50 percent forecasting an increase in orders, up 6 percent from January, and 39 percent believing order activity will remain unchanged.
Shipping levels were reported above levels of three months ago by 40 percent of participants, up from 21 percent in January.
Metalforming companies reported more of their workforce on short time or layoff—19 percent in February compared to 15 percent in January. In February 2012 only 7 percent of workers were reported on short time or layoff.
“Data in this month’s report anticipating an improvement in orders and shipments have been echoed by participants in recent executive roundtables held in Connecticut, Massachusetts and California over the past few weeks,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “A more positive outlook for the balance of 2013’s Q-1 is a welcome improvement compared to the soft 2012 Q-4 experienced by most metalforming companies. The Institute for Supply Management’s PM report, which includes the metalforming industry, also has recently trended upward. Growth is expected to be modest but should continue throughout the spring unless a lack of leadership in Washington, D.C. leads to an economic shock resulting from sequestration or other issues.”
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.
Sandy WilliamsRead more from Sandy Williams
Latest in Steel Products
Active US rig count rises to 5-month high, Canada level
The number of active rigs in the US inched up to the highest level seen since September, according to the latest data from Baker Hughes.
US HRC is just $42/st more expensive than imports
The premium US hot-rolled coil (HRC) held over offshore product for roughly five months has nearly vanished. Domestic hot band prices continue to run downhill at a high rate, erasing a $300/st gap they had over imported HRC just two months ago.
Nucor slashes plate prices by $90/st
Nucor Corp. announced that its plate mill group would cut prices for as-rolled, discrete, and normalized plate with the opening of its April order book.
Leibowitz: The future of WTO dispute settlement in the MC 13 conference
This week, the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial conference convenes in Abu Dhabi, UAE. There are many issues on the WTO’s plate. The question is whether any resolution of these matters is likely or even possible. One of the most important issues is the future of the dispute settlement system, which has been rendered impotent […]
US rig count expands, Canada slips
Rig counts in the US and Canada were mixed again for the week ended Feb. 23. The US saw totals move higher, while Canadian rig figures slipped week on week (w/w), Baker Hughes’ latest data shows. US rigs The number of active rotary rigs in the US expanded by five to 626 from the previous […]