Steel Products

Near-Term Economic Activity Remains Stable: PMA

Written by Ethan Bernard

Most metal formers predict business conditions will remain stable over the next three months, according to the July 2023 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

PMA’s July report said that 55% of the metal-forming companies the association surveyed expect no change in general economic activity in the next three months vs. 58% in June. Thirty-four percent see a fall in activity compared with 32% a month earlier, and 11% predict a rise in activity, up marginally from 10%.

“Metalforming manufacturers’ reporting of business activity remains consistent, despite rising costs, and ongoing challenges with supply-chain disruptions and finding workers,” PMA president David Klotz said in a statement on July 25.

“Our members are pleased that the House Ways and Means Committee recently approved a tax bill that included many of PMA’s priorities to boost US manufacturing competitiveness,” he added.

Other notable data include these: 18% survey respondents expect in increase incoming orders, a modest decrease from 20% in June. Forty-six percent predicted no change vs. 44% a month earlier, and 36% forecast a decrease, the same result as in June.

As for shipping levels, 19% reported a rise, down from 27% in June; 53% reported no change, nearly even with 52% a month earlier; and 28% reported a decline, up from 21%.

Lead times decreased for the third straight month in July, PMA said. Only 7% of metal-forming companies reported increased lead times compared to 10% in June.

The report is prepared monthly, according to PMA, and provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing. It samples 116 metal-forming companies in the US and Canada.

Ethan Bernard

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