According to the May 2010 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect business conditions to continue in a positive direction during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 129 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
The May report shows that 42% of participants expect an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (modestly down from 45% in April), 48% predict that activity will remain unchanged (up from 45% last month) and 10% report that activity will decline (the same percentage reported in April).
Eighty-five percent of metalforming companies forecast incoming orders to increase or remain fairly steady for the next three months. Increased orders are anticipated by 46% (compared to 50% in April), 39% expect no change (compared to 37% the previous month) and 15% predict a decrease in orders (up from 13% in April).
Fifty-four percent of participants reported that average daily shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 61% in April), 34% report no change (compared to 29% in April) and 12% report that shipping levels are below levels of three months ago (up from 10% in April).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dropped significantly this month, with only 30% of companies reporting workers on short time or layoff in May, compared to 42% in April. This marks the lowest level since October 2008.
“May’s business conditions report shows that 85% of PMA members expect new orders for May through July to either be higher than the past three months, or to remain flat, at fairly good levels,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “This confirms that the metalforming industry is well on its way toward a significant recovery which began in the summer of 2009, after a two-year slide. Also, data from PMA’s monthly orders and shipments report show conditions in the industry are improving, with new orders rising above the 12-month rolling average for the past nine months and shipments above the 12-month rolling average for the last eight months. In addition, data from the 100 companies in the survey’s control group indicate that orders grew in the first quarter by 50% compared to the first quarter of 2009 and shipments increased by 35% during the same period.”
The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at www.pma.org/about/stats/BCreport.