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Report Reflects Industry Concern Over Tariffs

Monday, June 25, 2018
 
A rising number of metalformers forecast a decline in business activity during the next three months, according to the April 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, based on responses from 109 participating companies.

While the report shows that 31 percent of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (the same percentage reported in May), and 46 percent expect no change (down from last month’s 65 percent), this month’s report shows that 23 percent of respondents anticipate a decline in activity, up significantly from last month’s 4 percent.

“The 19-percent jump in those metalforming manufacturers who anticipate a decline in activity is related to the 25-percent tariffs imposed on steel imports,” says Roy Hardy, PMA president. “Reports from PMA member companies show that all steel prices have increased, in some cases by more than 50 percent, and delivery times are going from days to weeks and even months. The United States is becoming an island of high steel prices, which will result in metalforming manufacturers losing business to overseas competitors who can buy steel at global (lower) prices. Tariffs are taxes, and if these tariffs continue, any benefit gained from tax cuts and regulatory reform will be wiped out.”

Metalforming companies also anticipate a downward trend in incoming orders during the next three months, with 20 percent predicting a decrease in orders (up from 10 percent in May), 42 percent anticipating no change in orders (up 54 percent in May), and 38 percent forecasting an increase in orders (up from 36 percent last month).

However, current average daily shipping levels rose in June. Fifty-four percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (up from 46 percent in May), while 32 percent report that levels are the same (down from 41 percent the previous month).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 4 percent in June, up from 0 percent in May. At this time last year, 2 percent of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

 


Reader Comments

Posted by: Robert E. Szyka on 6/28/2018 1:54:26 AM
In this great business climate, indulge yourself where you can compete then. The Steel and Aluminum Industries need to come back strong again in America. Good Luck, work don't worry, both the strong-willed yet smart will survive and prosper in these interesting times.

 

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