Metalforming companies are expecting little change in business conditions during the next three months but continue to report a drop in daily shipping levels, according to the July 2022 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.
Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, sampling 109 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
PMA’s July report shows that 48% of metalforming companies anticipate no change in general economic activity in the next three months (compared to 50% in June), 15% forecast an increase in activity (the same percentage reported in June) and 37% predict a decrease in activity (compared to 35% last month).
The report also showed little change in expectations for incoming orders, with 20% of survey respondents forecasting an increase in incoming orders during the next three months (compared to 19% in June), 48% predicting no change (compared to 51% last month) and 32% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 30% in June).
However, current average daily shipping levels dropped for the third consecutive month, with 28% of respondents reporting a decrease (increasing from 23% in June), 44% reporting no change (compared to 41% last month) and 28% reporting an increase (decreasing from 36% in June).
“PMA’s July Business Conditions Report shows a modest change in overall conditions, but a concerning drop in daily shipping levels for the third straight month,” said PMA President David Klotz. “This reflects supply-chain challenges throughout the manufacturing sector. PMA’s advocacy team in Washington, D.C., continues to press our elected leaders and policymakers to take action. More than $5 billion in manufacturing workforce training and research and development is included in the China competition bill now moving through Congress. In addition, I had the honor of testifying with several PMA members at the U.S. International Trade Commission hearing on how the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs affected U.S. industries. We highlighted in our testimony the problems our members are experiencing in obtaining steel and aluminum at globally competitive prices.
Lead times improved with only 23% of metalforming companies reporting an increase in lead times in July, compared to 36% in June. Four percent of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in July, up from 2% in June, while 70% of companies are currently expanding their workforce (compared to 76% last month).
Full report results are available at https://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf.
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 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. PMA leads companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH tradeshows, and MetalForming and 3D Metal Printing magazines.