Metalformers' outlook brightens in February: PMA

Written by Ethan Bernard

Metalformers expressed increased optimism about business activity this month, according to the February 2024 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

PMA said 23% of manufacturers responding to the survey expect an increase in business activity over the next three months, up from 20% in January. February marks the third straight consecutive jump. Additionally, 61% anticipate no change in business activity, ticking up from 60% the prior month. Only 16% see a decrease in business activity, falling from 20% in January.

“The February PMA Business Conditions report continues to show growing confidence by our members that economic activity will continue to improve over the next three months,” PMA President David Klotz said in a statement on Tuesday.

“This optimism was given a boost by the US House of Representatives’ passage of the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act in January, which would reinstate several important tax provisions for manufacturers, including R&D expensing and bonus depreciation,” he added.

Incoming orders also saw a bump, with 40% of survey respondents seeing a rising trend in incoming orders, up from 34% in January, 48% expect no change vs. 45% in January, and 12% see a decrease in orders, down from 21% the month prior.

Regarding current average daily shipping levels vs. the last three months, 31% see increased shipping levels vs. 16% in January; 39% reported no change, down from 44% in January; and 30% are reporting a slip in levels, off from 40% the previous month. 

Released monthly, the PMA report gives an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, and samples 121 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada, according to the group.

Ethan Bernard

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