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Report Shows Uptick in Optimism Among Metal Formers

Friday, December 20, 2019
Metal Forming companies reported a decline in current average daily shipping levels while signaling greater optimism for improved business conditions in 2020, according to the November 2019 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report.  The monthly report, a sampling of 107 metal forming companies in the United States and Canada, shows the following: 49 percent reported lower shipping levels than three months ago (up from 33 percent in November); 40 percent indicated no change in shipping levels (compared to 43 percent in November); and only 11 percent reported higher levels (down from 24 percent in November).

Meanwhile, 20 percent of participants predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (an increase from 15 percent in November); 54 percent forecast no change in activity (compared to 51 percent in November); and 26 percent anticipate a decline in activity (a decrease from 34 percent last month). 

“Metal forming companies are ending a challenging year with some optimism that 2020 will bring improved conditions,” says PMA President David Klotz. “The U.S. manufacturing sector contracted this year, with the Institute of Supply Management Manufacturing Index registering its lowest level since 2009. Recent progress on a Phase 1 trade agreement with China and the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement are positive signs that 2020 will bring more stability, but the trade restrictions that cause the most negative impact, the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, remain unchanged.” 

The December report also showed that metal forming companies anticipate an improvement in incoming orders: 26 percent forecast an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 21 percent in November); 53 percent expect no change in orders (compared to 45 percent in November); and 21 percent predict a decrease in orders (a decline from 34 percent last month).



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