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PMA Firms Expect Slower Business Activity

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming companies are expecting business conditions to slow slightly during the next three months as new orders decline, according to the October 2018 Precision Metalforming Association survey.

Average daily shipping levels also decreased in October with 23 percent of firms forecasting a decrease in orders compared to 15 percent last month.

Only 2 percent of firms reported workers on short time or layoff compared to 3 percent in September and a year ago.

“Metalforming manufacturers continue to report higher steel prices and longer lead times because of the Section 232 steel tariffs,” said PMA President Bill Gaskin. “Challenges created by these tariffs are likely the reason that this month’s report shows a significant jump in the percentage of metalforming companies forecasting a decrease in orders over the next three months. The Trump administration can help U.S. manufacturers compete globally by removing the 232 tariffs as quickly as possible.”

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