PMA Pessimism Due To Federal Failure?

Written by Sandy Williams

A decline in business activity is forecast for the next three months by metalforming companies participating in the October Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

Survey participants also expect incoming orders to decline over the next three months.  The forecast was similar to September’s predictions but PMA President William E. Gaskin indicated the pessimism may be due to concern over the federal budget situation. 

“PMA’s negative October Business Conditions report likely was impacted by dissatisfaction and disappointment among metalforming company executives over the failure of the U.S. Congress and President to firmly resolve federal budget and debt limit issues,” said Gaskin. “The period when the survey was open coincided with the period when political leadership was most lacking.  The positive ISM manufacturing index of 56.2 for September and the 55.8 ISM average for the third quarter indicate a bright outlook, which should be borne out in the months ahead.  Unfortunately, Congress failed to genuinely resolve its unsettling stand-off and kicked the can down the road, prolonging the uncertainty for businesses that were hoping for clarity about the road ahead.” 

Metalformers reported average daily shipping levels dropped in October.  Lead times remained steady or slightly shorter for the month.  

A smaller percentage of companies reported part of their workforce on short time or layoff—11 percent in October compared to 13 percent in September.  In October 2012 metalformers reported 16 percent of workers on short time or layoff.

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