PMA Firms Expect Slowdown in Coming Months

Written by Sandy Williams

Metalforming firms are expecting a slowdown in the manufacturing sector, according to the September 2019 Precision Metalforming Association Business Conditions Report. Thirty percent of participants in the monthly survey expect a decline in economic activity in the next three months, up from 27 percent in August. Those who expect no change in activity jumped to 53 percent from 46 percent and only 17 percent of participants expect improvement in the coming months. Little change is expected in shipping levels and incoming orders during the period.

“This month’s report mirrors other indices that show a slowdown in the manufacturing sector,” said PMA President David Klotz. “The decrease in confidence in the metalforming sector mirrors the dip in the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, from 51.2 percent in July to 49.1 percent in August, the lowest reading since January 2016. For metalformers, tariffs on steel and aluminum imports are contributing to these concerns because of the disruption that they are creating, including loss of business. PMA continues to urge the termination of these tariffs to avoid further damage to our sector.”

Ten percent of metalforming companies reported workers on short-time or layoff in September, the same percentage as in August and an increase from 3 percent a year ago.

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