PMA Survey Expects Little Change in Business Conditions

Written by Sandy Williams

The Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) released its November 2015 Business Conditions Report this week. The survey of 111 PMA members in the U.S. and Canada indicates that manufacturers are expecting steady economic conditions during the next three months.

Incoming orders are expected to remain at the current rate with 32 percent forecasting an increase in orders (down from 33 percent in October), 45 percent predicting no change (compared to 41 percent in October) and 23 percent expecting a decrease in orders (down from 26 percent last month). Survey respondents indicated average daily shipping levels were steady in November.

Fourteen percent of metalforming companies reported a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in November, down from 18 percent in October. In comparison, only 8 percent reported short time or layoff in the November 2014 survey.

“PMA members report soft business conditions as 2015 draws to a close, while also beginning to look ahead to possible improvements in 2016,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “For the first 10 months of 2015, the average PMA member company experienced a two percent decline in net orders booked and a one percent decline in shipments. Considering that automotive suppliers continue to report strong shipments, other sectors are soft, including suppliers to markets such as agriculture, off-highway, truck, oil field and mining, which have declined substantially from year-ago levels. The good news in this month’s PMA Orders & Shipments Survey is that when looking ahead three months, into early 2016, there continues to be optimism that the stalling economy could begin to rise in the New Year.”

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