Toll Processors

Metalformers see steady near-term business conditions

Written by Ethan Bernard

Metalformers expect economic activity to remain level over the next three months, according to the April Business Conditions Report from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

Every month, PMA conducts a survey of ~100 metalforming companies in the US and Canada. The results give an economic indicator for the manufacturing sector for the next three months.

In PMA’s April report, 67% of the respondents expect no change in general economic activity in the next three months vs. 60% in March; 21% see an increase in activity vs. 24% a month earlier; and 12% forecast a drop in activity, down from 16% in March.

A majority of metalformers also see only minor near-term changes in incoming orders. For April, 54% of respondents expect no change in orders during the next three months (up from 45% in March), 33% anticipate an increase in orders (down from 39% a month earlier), and 13% forecast a decrease in orders (vs. 16% in March). 

Current average daily shipping levels showed little change in April, PMA said. In the survey, 48% reported no change in shipping levels (up from 44% in March), 21% said there was a rise in levels (down from 24% last month), while 31% reported a decrease in levels (down slightly from 32% in March).

 “The ongoing ambiguity around the tax landscape continues to be a drag on the metalforming industry as reflected by a 10% drop in companies that are currently expanding their workforce,” David Klotz, PMA president, said in a statement on Thursday.

“If Congress were to roll back the tax on R&D expenditures and reinstate the ability for companies to fully deduct those costs, and restore 100% bonus depreciation, we would anticipate an immediate and positive shift in industry sentiment, hiring, and future business condition projections,” he added.

Ethan Bernard

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