According to the May 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate a downturn in business conditions during the next three months.
The May report shows that only 23% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (down from 40% in April), 55% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 45% last month) and 22% report that activity will decline (up from 15% in April).
Metalforming companies also expect a drop in incoming orders over the next three months, with 27% predicting a decrease in orders (up from 20% in April), 47% anticipate no change (compared to 38% last month) and only 26% predict an increase in orders (down significantly from 42% in April).
Average daily shipping levels also declined in May. Just 38% of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 63% in April), 37% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (up from 25% last month), and 25% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 12% in April).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 14% in May from 11% in April. However, the number remains significantly lower than one year ago when 30% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.