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October 2020 Business Conditions Report: Amid Challenges, Metalformers Predict Little Change in Economic Activity

Thursday, October 15, 2020

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—October 15, 2020—Metalforming companies predict little change in business conditions during the next three months, according to the October 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 113 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s October report shows that 58% of metalforming companies expect no change in economic activity (compared to 49% in September) in the next three months, 12% anticipate a decline (compared to 11% last month), and 30% forecast an improvement in activity during the next three months (a decrease from 40% in September). 

The survey also revealed that metalformers expect incoming orders to remain steady, with 49% forecasting an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 50% in September), 40% predicting no change (a decrease from 37% last month), and 11% anticipating a decrease (compared to 13% in September). 

“Metalforming manufacturers are continuing to meet the challenges to their businesses created by the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic,” said PMA President David Klotz. “During my recent visits to members’ plants, I’ve seen business pick up in some sectors such as automotive. However, many members continue to face severe economic headwinds. PMA is disappointed that Congress and the White House cannot agree on another economic recovery package. Our members are resilient, but Washington can help by providing access to 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 showed little change in current average daily shipping levels in October, with 57% experiencing an increase (compared to 59% in September), 32% reporting no change (an increase from 22% last month), and 11% reporting a decrease (compared to 19% in September).

Only 20% of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in October, a decrease from 23% in September and the lowest level since March 2020. 

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.