Metalforming companies are viewing the first quarter of 2022 with increased optimism for improved business conditions, according to the January 2022 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.
Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 111 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
PMA’s January report shows that 37% of metalforming companies anticipate an increase in general economic activity in the next three months (increasing from 27% in December), 56% expect no change (compared to 57% last month) and 7% predict a decrease in activity (compared to 16% in December).
Forty-six percent of respondents reported an increase in lead times, down from 50% in December.
“‘Perseverance’ is a word that defines PMA members,” said PMA President David Klotz. “Despite the challenges of raw material shortages, supply chain disruptions, workforce retention issues and, of course, a global pandemic, our members continue to manufacture the products and parts needed to keep the economy moving. Members are beginning the year with optimism for our industry and the economy.”
Metalformers also forecast an improvement in incoming orders in the next three months, with 43% expecting an increase in orders (compared to 34% in December), 45% predicting no change (compared to 49% last month) and only 12% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 17% in December).
Current average daily shipping levels rose slightly in January, with 41% of survey respondents reporting an increase (compared to 39% in December), 45% reporting no change (compared to 41% last month) and 14% reporting a decrease (compared to 20% in December).
Four percent of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in January, compared to two percent in December.
PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $137-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its more than 850 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.