Business Outlook is Steady for PMA Companies

Written by Sandy Williams

Business conditions will remain steady for the next three months said metalforming companies in the April 2014 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Of those surveyed, 36 percent predict economic activity will improve while 56 percent say it will remain unchanged.

Almost no change was expected for incoming orders in the April survey, with 44 percent forecasting increasing orders and 44 percent expecting orders to remain the same (compared to March forecasts of 44 percent and 45 percent, respectively).

Shipping rates were up slightly in April while lead times remained the same. Only 8 percent of companies reported workers on short time or layoff, down from 11 percent last month and 14 percent a year ago.

“Steady as it goes seems to be the mantra among the majority of PMA’s manufacturing members as the second quarter 2014 commences,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “PMA members, especially those supplying the auto industry, are experiencing stable business conditions thus far during 2014 after a significant fall-off in the last quarter of 2013, and fears of slower auto sales that originally were forecast seem to be waning now that warmer weather has finally arrived. The major manufacturing indicators continue to be positive, but not robust. Economic expansion continues to be flat and is not achieving the 3+ percent GDP growth originally anticipated last fall, for the first half of 2014. Consensus appears to be that more of the same will continue, at least into the end of the first half of the year.”

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