Metalformers Expect Flat Business Conditions

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies are not expecting much change in business conditions in the next three months. The latest Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report indicates that only 34 percent of survey participants predict an improvement in general economic activity, while 58 percent predict no change.

Orders are expected to be steady or slightly better in the coming months. Current shipping levels were strong but unchanged from June.

Fewer companies reported workforce on short time or layoff in June: 2 percent compared to 5 percent last month.

“Our member companies remain concerned about possible tariffs on steel resulting from the Trump administration’s Section 232 national security investigation,” said Roy Hardy, PMA president. “Should additional tariffs be imposed on steel, U.S. metalforming companies will likely be at a significant cost disadvantage compared to their global competitors. We strongly encourage the administration to consider the entire steel supply chain when evaluating additional tariffs on steel imports.”

On a side note, Steel Market Update has the President Emeritus of the PMA, William Gaskin, participating on a free and fair trade panel at our 7th SMU Steel Summit Conference at the end of August. Mr. Gaskin will join Philip Bell of the Steel Manufacturers Association, Daniel Pearson of the Cato Institute (and former ITC chairman) and trade attorney Lewis Leibowitz as they discuss what “free and fair trade” means and how the actions of the Trump administration hurt or help manufacturers, service centers, trading companies and steel mills. You can find more information about the August 28-30, 2017, conference on our website. If you would like to join us in Atlanta, you can find information about the costs associated in attending and how to register at

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