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Press Room

January 2023 Business Conditions Report: Metalformers Predict Little Change in First Quarter of 2023

Monday, January 23, 2023

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—January 23, 2023—Metalforming companies forecast little change in economic activity for the first quarter of 2023, according to the January 2023 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, sampling 122 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.  
PMA’s January report shows that 11% of metalforming companies predict an increase in general economic activity in the next three months (compared to 10% in December), 59% expect no change in activity (compared to 57% last month) and 30% anticipate a decrease in activity (down from 33% in December).

Metalformers expect an uptick in incoming orders, with 25% of survey respondents forecasting an increase in incoming orders during the next three months (compared to 15% in December), 49% anticipating no change (compared to 51% last month) and 26% predicting a decrease in orders (compared to 34% in December).

However, current average daily shipping levels declined for the fourth straight month in January, with 43% of respondents reporting a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 39% in December), 42% reporting no change (the same percentage last month) and only 15% reporting an increase (decreasing from 19% in December).

“The responses in PMA’s first Business Conditions Report of 2023 are consistent with what I have been hearing from PMA members during my visits to their facilities throughout the country,” said PMA President David Klotz. “Metalformers are still experiencing supply-chain challenges and facing difficulties finding employees. They also are concerned that Congress allowed important tax provisions to expire, including full expensing for Research and Development and not extending 100% bonus depreciation prior to January 1, 2023. PMA’s advocacy team in Washington, D.C., continues to work with Members of Congress on passage of these important provisions.”

Lead times continued to drop in January, with only 7% of metalforming companies reporting an increase in lead times (compared to 9% in December). Two percent of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in January (compared to 5% in December), while 48% of companies are currently expanding their workforce (decreasing from 52% last month). 

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 more than 900 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 tradeshows, and MetalForming magazine.