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North American metalforming companies forecast little change in business conditions during the next three months, according to the April 2022 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.

Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 108 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s April report shows that 63% of metalforming companies anticipate no change in general economic activity in the next three months (increasing from 58% in March), 19% expect an increase in activity (compared to 24% last month) and 18% predict a decrease in activity (the same percentage reported in March).

Metalformers also forecast little change in incoming orders in the next three months, with 34% expecting an increase in orders (compared to 37% in March), 47% predicting no change (compared to 46% last month) and 19% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 17% in March).

Only 34% of survey respondents reported an increase in lead times in April, down from 43% in March. Metalformers also experienced an improvement in current average daily shipping levels in April, with 54% of respondents reporting an increase (compared to 41% last month), 39% reporting no change (decreasing from 48% in March) and 7% reporting a decrease (compared to 11% in March).

“The April PMA Business Conditions Report reflects the resiliency of our member companies as they continue to manufacture the parts that are essential components in autos, appliances, aircraft, satellites, spacecraft and many other products,” said PMA President David Klotz.

Klotz added that metalforming companies he’s visited are reporting steady orders but continued problems sourcing steel, aluminum and red metals as well as difficulty in finding workers.

Only one percent of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in April, compared to no companies reporting employees on short time or layoff in March. Seventy-nine percent of respondents reported that they are currently expanding their workforce, an increase from 77% last month.

Full report results are available at https://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf.

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