PMA Expects Spike in Economic Activity in Q1

Written by Sandy Williams

Precision Metalforming Association members are looking forward to a spike in economic activity in the first quarter of 2017. The December 2016 survey of 115 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada shows 43 percent are expecting improved activity in the next three months, up from 21 percent in November. New orders are expected to jump as well.

Members report that lead times and average daily shipping levels were steady in December.

Fewer companies reported workforce on short term or layoff last month, 11 percent compared to 14 percent in November and 14 percent in December 2015.

“The dramatic one-month spike from 21% to 43% of participants expecting an increase in general economic activity (a 22% shift in one month) is the most significant one-month change since a 36% collapse in expectations for the same measure, in October 2008, at the onset of the Great Recession,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “PMA members also are reflecting the same sentiment as expressed in the manufacturing ISM uptick of 1.5 points in December, with an increase of 18% (to 47%) of members who expect their incoming orders to rise over the next three months. Whether this optimism is a reaction to the election of Mr. Trump, or based on underlying strength of business conditions, is yet to be seen.”

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