Metalformers Expect A Minor Downturn in Business Conditions

Written by Sandy Williams

The metalforming industry is expecting a slight dip in business conditions in the next three months according to the May 2016 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

The May report, sampling 114 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada, indicated companies are expecting incoming order levels to remain unchanged during the next few months. Shipping levels in May were reported as trending downward.

Metalforming companies reporting a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff fell to 15 percent in May, from 16 percent in April. In May 2015 only 9 percent of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

“PMA’s May Business Conditions Report reflects a typical cyclical pattern, as the report’s 3-month horizon (May through July) reflects a slowdown, which is typical for some manufacturing operations,” according to William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “That said, PMA’s separate Monthly Orders & Shipments Report for January through April 2016 reflects a 12% decline in orders booked in April vs. March, and a 7% decline in shipments for the same period. Automotive, medical equipment, building products and aerospace markets continue to be among the stronger segments supplied by the metalforming industry. There is growing concern among PMA members over sharp increases in steel prices in the United States following imposition of substantial antidumping duties on imports of flat-rolled steel from China and other low-cost producers. This may result in increased offshoring of metal parts, assemblies and products where flat-rolled metal is a substantial component of the final cost.”

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