PMA Report Optimistic in August

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies believe business conditions will improve during the next three months, according to the August 2016 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. A survey of 122 metalforming companies in the US and Canada showed 30 percent of participants expecting better conditions, up from 22 percent in July. Those who think business will remain the same were down 2 percentage points to 54 percent. Incoming orders are forecast to improve during the period.

The survey revealed that average daily shipping levels in August declined for 34 percent of participants. Thirty six percent said levels are the same as three months ago and 29 percent said levels have increased.

Short time and layoffs dropped to 11 percent of the companies surveyed in August, down from 13 percent in July and at the same level as a year ago.

“Optimism about general business conditions is at the highest level since February,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “A seven-month slide in the trend for incoming orders also reversed itself in August, perhaps in response to a rising equities market, lack of action by the Federal Reserve and a calming of fears about near-term side effects from Brexit. Also, PMA’s separate orders and shipments surveys indicate that for the period of January through June 2016, average new orders for metalforming companies have been dead-flat year-over-year, while average shipments declined by 3% over the same period. Higher costs for steel due to import duties assessed in the past six months also have negatively impacted metalforming companies who are not on automatic price-adjustment programs with their customers. So, profitability also is being challenged.”

The PMA survey is conducted monthly by the Precision Metalforming Association. August’s survey was based on responses from 122 metalforming companies.

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