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Press Room

November 2023 Business Conditions Report: Metalforming Companies Express Optimism That Economic Activity Will Stabilize

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—November 29, 2023—Metalforming companies forecasted less volatility in business conditions in the coming months, according to the November 2023 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, PMA’s report provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, sampling 108 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s November report shows that 49% of metalforming companies expect no change in general economic activity in the next three months in (compared to 36% in October), 42% predict a decrease in activity (compared to 54% in October) and 9% forecast an increase in activity (down from 10% last month).

Metalformers also anticipate that incoming orders will stabilize, with 45% of survey respondents expecting no change in orders during the next three months (compared to 35% in October), 38% predicting a decrease in orders (compared to 48% in October) and 17% forecasting an increase in orders (the same percentage reported last month).

Current average daily shipping levels remained fairly steady in November, with 18% of responding companies reporting an increase in shipping levels (compared to 15% in October), 33% reporting no change (compared to 40% last month) and 49% reporting a decrease in shipping levels (up from 45% in October).

“The November PMA Business Conditions Report reflects PMA members’ optimism that the end of the United Auto Workers (UAW) labor strike against Ford, GM and Stellantis will mean more stability in the sector,” said PMA President David Klotz. “The latest report shows that most respondents now predict no change or an improvement in business activity after two months of predicting declines. With the UAW strike settled, Congress avoiding a shutdown, and the United States and European Union avoiding, at least for now, a metals trade war, metalformers are predicting greater economic stability, allowing them to ramp up order deliveries.”

Thirteen percent of metalforming companies reported an increase in lead times in November (compared to 12% in October). Six percent of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in November (decreasing from 7% in October), while only 36% of companies are currently expanding their workforce (compared to 42% 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.