Press Room

Press Room

Business Conditions Report: November 2019

Thursday, November 21, 2019

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—November 21, 2019—Metalforming companies continue to forecast a downward trend in economic activity in the coming months, according to the November 2019 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 100 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The November report showed that 15% of participants predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (an increase from 14% in October); 51% forecast no change in activity (compared to 49% in October); and 34% anticipate a decline in activity (a decrease from 37% last month).

“The November PMA Business Conditions Report showed little change from the previous month: metalforming companies remain concerned about market conditions as they continue to see a slowdown in incoming orders and an overall softening of the market,” said PMA President David Klotz. “This corresponds with soft market conditions reported by PMA members’ customers in the automotive, aviation, appliance and other sectors. Ending the tariffs on steel and aluminum imports is one way that the Administration can provide some stability to the market, as the tariffs are negatively affecting both steel users and steel producers.”

The November report showed a slight improvement in current average daily shipping levels, with 24% of participants reporting that levels are higher than three months ago (increasing from 18% in October); 43% responding that shipping levels are the same (increasing from 41% in October); and 33% reporting that shipping levels are lower than three months ago (a decline from 41% in October). 

However, metalforming companies’ predictions for incoming orders dipped, with 21% forecasting an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 24% in October); 45% expecting no change in orders (the same percentage reported in October); and 34% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 31% last month).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in November was 15%, a 3% increase from October. At this time last year, only 6% of the participating 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.