PMA Survey Shows Modest Optimism for 3-Month Business Outlook

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada are expecting slightly improved business conditions in the next three months. Surveyed members of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) reported average daily shipping levels in February were higher than three months ago and anticipate steady order activity for the next three months.

Companies reporting workers on short time or layoff increased to 14 percent from 12 percent in January. In February 2015 only 8 percent of companies reported workers on reduced hours or layoff.

“Expectations of PMA member companies for modest increases in the general trend of the economy, incoming orders and for current average daily shipping levels over the next three months continued to keep PMA’s outlook fairly positive through April 2016, after falling in Q-4 2015,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Rising concern over the global economic situation, along with continued disruption in global energy, mining, steel, agriculture and heavy construction markets all negatively impact manufacturing. However, the U.S. ISM Index continues to hover just below 50, which is still above the level indicating the onset of a recession. The PMA index may well be modestly higher than the general underlying economic situation warrants, because some 40 percent of PMA members are automotive suppliers, a market that continues to ship product at high levels.”

The February 2015 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report is a monthly survey, sampling 123 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada, and is considered an economic indicator for manufacturing.

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