PMA Survey Showing Less Confidence in Future Business Conditions

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies are expecting a minor decline in business conditions during the next three months, according to the latest survey by the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

Respondents in the October survey are expecting a drop in incoming orders and noted that shipping levels declined in in October. Lead times, compared with three months ago shortened slightly, with 72 percent of companies saying lead times are the same compared to 76 percent in September.

Twelve percent of companies reported workforce on short time or layoff in October compare to 8 percent in September. Last year in October, 18 percent of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

“PMA member companies anticipate flat or modestly declining orders and shipments during Q-4, 2016,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Overall data for the manufacturing sector, such as the September Purchasing Managers Index (PMI®), was more optimistic, reporting an index of 51.5 in September vs. 49.4 in August. PMA’s survey is consistent with detailed breakouts in PMI’s September index, as Fabricated Metal Products was one of 11 industries reporting contraction. PMA’s September Monthly Orders & Shipments Report also supports the flat or declining pattern, indicating that 2016 year-over-year orders booked for the first nine months were flat vs. 2015, and that shipments are down 3% year-to-date vs. 2015.”

The October survey was based on a sampling of 130 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada.

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