Metalformers see optimism grow after improved January: PMA

Written by David Schollaert

Metalformers remain positive about business prospects for the first quarter of 2024, boosted by reported growth in January.

Roughly 60% of metalforming companies expect stable business conditions over the next three months, up from 57% last month, according to the January report from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

Another 20% expect an increase in economic activity, up from 13% in December. And 20% think business conditions will worsen, down from 30% in December, the group said.

“PMA members are expressing confidence that their businesses will continue to experience stable conditions in the first quarter of 2024,” PMA president David Klotz said in a statement.

“In fact, the January Business Conditions Report shows the highest percentage of respondents predicting steady or increased economic activity since April 2022,” Klotz added.

Optimism was also aided by an uptick in incoming orders in January’s latest forecast. Some 34% of survey respondents said an increase in orders was expected in Q1, up from 29% in December, and 21% anticipating a decrease in orders vs. 30% in December.

Daily shipping levels remained steady in January vs. the prior month, while only 7% reported an increase in lead times in January, the report said.

David Schollaert

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