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Business Conditions Report: May 2013

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

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CLEVELAND, OH—May 21, 2013—According to the May 2013 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months.  Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 110 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The May report shows that 63% of participants predict that economic activity will remain unchanged during the next three months (up from 56% in April), 23% believe that activity will improve (down from 28% in April) and 14% forecast that activity will decline (compared to 16% in April).

Metalforming companies expect little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 34% anticipating an increase in orders (down from 37% in April), 47% predicting no change (compared to 42% last month) and 19% expecting a decrease in orders (down from 21% in April).

Average daily shipping levels increased in May.  Forty-one percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 34% in April), 41% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 44% in April), and 18% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 22% in April).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dipped to 11% in May, down from 14% in April.  The May figure is similar to one year ago, when 10% of metalformers reported workers on short time or layoff. 

“Suppliers of metal parts and assemblies experienced modest gains in orders during the first quarter of 2013, but suffered a 6% decrease in shipments compared to March 2012,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president.  “The automotive market is the sector with the strongest shipments, but most other markets have leveled off or declined somewhat from levels consistent with 2012.  Expectations for the balance of the year rest on whether Congress and the President are able to address the critical budget and tax issues faced by all manufacturers.  Congress and the President need to set aside their partisan differences and take action to ensure that the manufacturing sector continues to grow.” 

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979.  Full report results are available at http://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf.  PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-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 innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM tradeshows, and MetalForming and Fabricating Product News magazines.


 

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