PMA Members Slightly Less Optimistic in March

Written by Sandy Williams

Members of the Precision Metalforming Association are expecting business conditions to falter a bit during the next three months.

The March PMA Business Conditions Report indicated a minor downward trend with 25 percent of participants predicting that economic activity will improve in the next three months (down from 30 percent in February), 59 percent expecting no change (compared to 57 percent last month) and 16 percent believing that economic activity will decline (up from 13 percent in February).

Incoming orders are expected to stay relatively unchanged during the next three months.

Daily average shipping levels improved in March with 40 percent reporting levels higher than three months ago compared to 32 percent in February.

More workers were on short term or layoff in March compared to February and a year ago. The percentage of workforce on short time or layoff increased to 17 percent in March, from 14 percent in February and 10 percent in March 2015.

“While expectations in the trend of general economic activity reported by members dipped slightly this month, expectations for average daily shipping levels rose substantially, compared to the levels in the third and fourth quarters of 2015,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “The 8-month decline in shipping levels stabilized in December and January, and has been rising sharply during the past two months. Expectations for incoming orders also rose at the New Year and held steady during Q-1 of 2016.”

The March 2016 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report is a monthly survey, sampling 118 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada, and is considered an economic indicator for manufacturing.

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