Shipping levels for North America’s metalformers seem to be steadying after declining the last several months, according to the PMA, and two thirds of its members are expanding their workforce. PHOTO courtesy TRUMPF.
Business conditions appear to be improving for North America’s metalformers, according to September’s report from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).
The report found that current average daily shipping levels for metalformers in Canada and the U.S. rebounded in September after declining for the previous four months. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported an increase in shipping levels (compared to 19% in August), 51% reported no change (the same percentage reported last month) and only 17% reported a decrease (compared to 30% in August).
PMA’s September report also found a modest improvement in expectations for incoming orders, with 19% of survey respondents forecasting an increase in incoming orders during the next three months (compared to 17% in August), 54% predicting no change (compared to 49% last month) and 27% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 34% in August).
“Metalformers continue to expect fairly steady business conditions in the last quarter of the year,” said PMA President David Klotz. “Our members anticipate little change in current economic activity and shipping levels seem to be steadying after declining the last several months. What is striking is that the report shows that more than six in 10 members are expanding their workforce and trying to find workers to fill these jobs.”
The report notes that 67% of companies are currently expanding their workforce (increasing from 65% last month). Only 2% of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in September (compared to 4% in August).
Prepared monthly, PMA’s Business Conditions Report provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, sampling 114 metalforming companies in Canada and the United States.
The report shows that 60% of metalforming companies anticipate no change in general economic activity in the next three months (compared to 52% in August), 11% forecast an increase in activity (the same percentage reported in August) and 29% predict a decrease in activity (an improvement from 37% last month).
Lead times remained steady, with 20% of metalforming companies reporting an increase in lead times in September (compared to 21% in August).
Full report results are available at https://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf.
PMA represents 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.