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Metalformers Foresee Steady Conditions Ahead

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Metalforming companies expect business conditions to remain fairly steady through June, according to the April 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, based on responses from 123 participating companies.

The monthly report shows that 42 percent of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity (compared to 49 percent in the March report), 52 percent expect no change (up from 45 percent in March) and only 6 percent anticipate a decline in activity (no change).

“PMA is beginning to receive reports from its members of negative impacts from the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, including price spikes and longer lead times,” says PMA President Roy Hardy. “It’s important to note that these tariffs impact domestic and imported steel and aluminum products that could disadvantage PMA members when competing against overseas companies. For this reason, PMA has joined other steel-and aluminum-using industry groups in asking President Trump to terminate these tariffs as soon as possible.”

Metalforming companies also anticipate little change in incoming orders through June, with 47 percent predicting no change in orders (compared to 39 percent in the March report), while 46 percent expect an increase in orders (compared to 54 percent in March), and 7 percent forecast a decrease in orders (no change).

Current average daily shipping levels rose slightly in April. Fifty percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (up from 47 percent in the March report), 38 percent report that levels are the same (down from 39 percent in March), and 12 percent report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 14 percent in March).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dropped to 2 percent in April, down from 3 percent in March. This figure is better than during April 2017, when 6 percent of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at


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