Press Room

Press Room

Business Conditions Report: February 2020

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—February 26, 2020—Metalforming companies continued to express optimism about the economy according to the February 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 105 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The February report showed that 30% of participants predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (a slight decrease from 32% in January); 60% forecast no change in activity (compared to 55% last month); and only 10% anticipate a decline in activity (a decrease from 13% in January).

“Metalforming companies continue to show resiliency and remain optimistic that business conditions will improve,” said PMA President David Klotz. “It’s important to note, however, that this survey was taken prior to the impact to supply chains and business conditions caused by the spread of the coronavirus. PMA will continue to serve as a resource to help its members navigate through these challenges and this is certain to be a topic of much discussion at PMA’s Forming Our Future conference in Hawaii, March 4-7.”

According to the survey, metalformers expected an uptick in incoming orders, with 53% forecasting an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 43% in January); 30% anticipating no change in orders (compared to 45% in January); and 17% predicting a decrease in orders (compared to 12% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels spiked in February, with 34% of participants reporting higher levels than three months ago (increasing from 16% in January); 49% indicating no change in shipping levels (the same percentage reported last month); and 17% reporting lower shipping levels than three months ago (decreasing from 35% in January). 

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in February dipped to 12%, decreasing from 13% in January. 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.