Press Room

Press Room

Business Conditions Report: June 2018

Friday, June 22, 2018

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—June 22, 2018—Metalforming companies anticipate a decline in business conditions during the next three months, according to the June 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 109 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The June report shows that 31% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (the same percentage reported in May), 46% expect no change (down from 65% last month), and 23% anticipate a decline in activity (up significantly from 4% in May).

“The 19% jump in those metalforming manufacturers who anticipate a decline in activity is related to the 25% tariffs imposed on steel imports,” said Roy Hardy, PMA president. “Reports from PMA member companies show that all steel prices have increased, in some cases by more than 50%, and delivery times are going from days to weeks and even months. The United States is becoming an island of high steel prices, which will result in metalforming manufacturers losing business to overseas competitors who can buy steel at global (i.e. lower) prices. Tariffs are taxes, and if these tariffs continue, any benefit gained from tax cuts and regulatory reform will be wiped out.”

Metalforming companies also anticipate a downward trend in incoming orders during the next three months, with 20% predicting a decrease in orders (up from 10% in May), 42% anticipating no change in orders (compared to 54% in May), and 38% forecasting an increase in orders (compared to 36% last month).

However, current average daily shipping levels rose in June. Fifty-four percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (up from 46% in May), 32% report that levels are the same (down from 41% the previous month), and 14% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 13% in May).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 4% in June, up from 0% in May. At this time last year, 2% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff. 

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 800 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 and 3D Metal Printing magazines.