May Capex Up Over April, But Off YoYJuly 10, 2023
New orders of manufacturing technology increased 8.6 percent over April 2023 but fell short of May 2022 orders by 16.7 percent, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT–The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Year over year orders for 2023 lag those for 2022 by nearly 15 percent.
“May orders increased but not enough to make up for the record decline we saw in April,” says Douglas K. Woods, AMT president. “Job shops increased orders at a slightly faster pace than the general market, but many large consumers of manufacturing technology decreased orders for the second month in a row. Significant growth from typically smaller consumers of manufacturing technology highlights some interesting changes in how and where goods are manufactured, particularly in anticipation of government spending programs.”
For instance, orders from manufacturers of electrical equipment are at the highest monthly level of 2023. This puts the industry on pace to make the second-largest investment in manufacturing technology since 2018. Much of the current investment stems from efforts to mitigate strains on the grid caused by unusual weather patterns. However, more investment from this sector may be on the horizon. The Grid Resilience and Innovation Partnership (GRIP) program, part of the 2021 Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, is expected to send notification of approved projects by the summer of 2023, which may spur more investment in manufacturing technology from this industry.
The construction industry has also shown growth in manufacturing technology investment. Construction-machinery manufacturers doubled their order volume over April 2023, putting them on pace for the highest order volume since 2012, and hardware, screw, nut, and bolt manufacturers significantly increased orders in May. The increasing need for capacity likely comes from the increase in residential construction.
See also: Association for Manufacturing Technology