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Metalformers Brace for Slowdown

Wednesday, August 1, 2018
Metalforming companies anticipate a downward trend in business conditions through September, according to the July 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. The monthly report shows that only 24 percent forecast an improvement in economic conditions, while 53 percent expect no change and 23 percent anticipate a decline in activity.

“The data confirms that the optimism expressed by our members at the beginning of the year because of tax reform and other positive economic indicators has been reversed because of the Section 232 steel tariffs,” says PMA President Roy Hardy, adding that in the PMA February Business Conditions Report, 97 percent looked forward to an improvement in economic conditions. “Significant steel price hikes and problems obtaining the steel needed,” he says, “are negatively impacting small and medium-sized manufacturers throughout the country and causing great concern in the metalforming industry.”


Reader Comments

Posted by: Wally Wilson on 8/8/2018 10:36:19 AM - URL:
From our soon to be published August 2018 Market Insights report: Globally, manufacturing around the world is moving on. The U.S. inspired trade frictions are unhelpful but not derailing the general improvement. What is happening below the surface is the slow, steady erosion of U.S. global influence. Other contenders for leadership are stepping into that vacuum. They are not “free and fair” traders but will gladly fill the power vacuum. Locally, our market is being effected by the worrisome tariffs and resulting retaliations by every effected country including our oldest and strongest allies. We also see growing global demand/supply, consolidations and new investment in highly capable mills. New efficient production will continue to pressure global steel prices while tariffs block our steel end users from access to lower cost material. This predicts a longer term loss of steel consumption in the U.S.


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