Metalformers See Slight Dip Coming in Business Conditions

Written by Sandy Williams

Members of the Precision Metalforming Association are anticipating a slight downturn in business conditions during the next three months, according to the latest PMA Business Conditions Report.

The April report sampled 120 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada and showed 45 percent of participants expecting improvement in general activity in the near future compared to 50 percent last month. Orders are expected to drop slightly as well.

The current average daily shipping level was steady in April. Fewer firms reported workforce on short term or layoff during the month, 6 percent in April compared to 9 percent in March.

“Overall, the second quarter of 2017 continues to look very positive,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Metalforming companies reported rising shipments for the fifth consecutive month in April, with 86% reporting that they expect new orders to rise or at least equal current levels over the next three months. Concerns over the ability to hire skilled employees are rising, as only 6% of companies reported having employees on short-time or layoff. And 50% of PMA members reported that they are expanding their workforce. PMA members are expressing growing concerns that the U.S. Congress has not effectively addressed health care costs and does not yet have consensus on tax reform for corporations and Sub S entities, or on straightforward issues such as making it possible to repatriate offshore profits. These reforms would help boost the ability to invest in U.S. operations of multinational companies.”

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