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Press Room

September 2020 Business Conditions Report: Small Uptick in Metalformers' Optimism but Challenges Continue

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—September 22, 2020—Metalforming companies predict a small improvement in business conditions during the next three months, according to the September 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 109 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s September report shows that 40% of metalforming companies predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (a slight increase from 38% in August), 49% expect no change (compared to 45% last month), and 11% anticipate a decline in activity (a decrease from 17% in August). 

The survey also revealed that metalformers experienced a slight uptick in current average daily shipping levels in September, with 59% reporting an increase in shipping levels compared to three months ago (up from 52% in August), 22% reporting no change (compared to 21% in August), and 19% reporting a decrease (down from 27% in August). 

“Metalformers are showing their resiliency but challenging times continue for our members and the manufacturing sector, and we continue to expect ups and downs for the remainder of the year,” said PMA President David Klotz.

Klotz continued, “PMA’s Washington advocacy team is urging Congress and the White House to agree on another economic recovery package and is conveying our members’ policy priorities: create long-term low-interest loans to purchase raw materials and equipment, business liability protection as they follow government guidelines, and an immediate claim of General Business Credits and expanding the Employee Retention Credit to Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients.”

The survey also showed little change in incoming orders, with 50% of participants predicting an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 55% in August), 37% forecasting no change (an increase from 33% in August), and 13% reporting a decrease (compared to 12% in August). 

Only 23% of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in September, a decrease from 37% in August. 

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.