Metalformers Forecast Steady Business Conditions

Written by Sandy Williams

Manufacturers in the precision metalforming sector are not expecting much change in business conditions during the next three months, although orders are expected to trend slightly downward, according to the August 2017 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

Current average daily shipping levels dropped significantly in August with 28 percent reporting levels above those of three months ago, compared to 44 percent in the July report.

Only 3 percent of metal forming companies reported workforce on short time or layoff in August, compared to 5 percent in July.

“Our survey sees some softening in business conditions in the coming months, though overall the outlook remains stronger than last year at this time,” said PMA President Roy Hardy. “There is a noticeable uptick in members who believe economic activity in general, and incoming orders in particular, may be set for a small decline.”

“The administration’s delayed Section 232 review of steel imports is without question creating uncertainty and contributing to this increasingly cautious business outlook. Metalforming companies will see significant cost increases to their most essential inputs if tariffs are slapped on incoming product. We strongly urge the administration to consider the impact of its actions on small and medium-sized manufacturers across the country before it goes forward.”

The PMA report is a monthly economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 103 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada in August.

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