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Monthly Business Conditions


Business Conditions Report: February 2017

Monday, February 27, 2017

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano


CLEVELAND, OH—February 27, 2017—According to the February 2017 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect business conditions to remain strong during the next three months. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 115 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The February report shows steady economic activity, with 50% of participants predicting no change in the next three months (up from 44% last month), 43% anticipating an improvement (compared to 48% in January), and 7% believing that economic activity will decline (compared to 8% the previous month).

Metalforming companies forecast a slight increase in incoming orders during the next three months, with 54% expecting an increase in orders (up from 51% in January), 43% anticipating no change (compared to 42% in January) and only 3% predicting a decrease in orders (down from 7% in January).

Current average daily shipping levels improved in February. Thirty-eight percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 30% in January), 44% report that levels are the same as three months ago (up from 40% the previous month) and 18% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 30% in January).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained unchanged from January to February 2017, at 10%. That’s better than February 2016, when 14% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

“PMA manufacturing member companies continued to report very positive expectations for economic activity for the next three months, with only 7% anticipating a negative trend,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president.  “Shipping levels are rising and only 3% forecast that new orders will decline during the next three months.”  Gaskin also commented that 43% of member companies reported they have begun to expand their workforce, a jump of 11% from the prior month. “Overall, there has been a significant positive shift in expectations for improved business activity by top executives in the metalforming industry, coinciding with the election of President Trump and his taking office in January,” said Gaskin.

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at 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 nearly 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 and METALFORM Mexico tradeshows, and MetalForming, Fabricating Product News and 3D Metal Printing magazines.