Uncertainty clouds metalformers' Q3 outlook

Written by Laura Miller

Uncertainty surrounding demand, the US presidential election, tariffs, and taxes is weighing on North American metalforming companies.

The June Business Conditions Report from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) showed most manufacturing members are not anticipating much, if any, improvement in the economy in the coming quarter.

“The June survey confirms that PMA members are seeing a slowdown in economic activity, which tracks other recent reports for the manufacturing sector that are reporting a contraction in activity,” said PMA President David Klotz.

The number of respondents expecting worsening economic activity grew from 26% in May to 30% this month. Most respondents still expect no change in business (56% in June vs. 55% in May), while those expecting an improvement fell from 19% to 14% in June.

Half of metalformers anticipate incoming orders to be flat through September, with the remainder nearly split on whether orders will increase (24%) or decrease (26%).

“Our members are reporting a general sense of uncertainty over industrial demand, the election outcome, and whether tariffs will go up in 2025 and taxes will go up in 2026,” Klotz commented.

“The current environment makes it difficult for downstream companies to plan and respond to their customers’ concerns over similar uncertainties in the markets and over who will be in control of Washington after the November election,” he added.

The PMA, headquartered in Independence, Ohio, comprises more than 900 member companies in the metalforming industry, as well as equipment, materials, and service providers to the industry. Its monthly business report serves as an economic indicator for manufacturing for the next three months.

Laura Miller

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