According to the April 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA www.pma.org) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate a dip business conditions during the next three months.
The April report shows that 37% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months (down from 46% in March), 51% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 49% last month) and 12% report that activity will decline (up from 5% in March).
Metalforming companies also anticipate a downward trend in incoming orders during the next three months, with 43% forecasting an increase in orders (compared to 47% in March), 41% expecting no change (down from 47% in March) and 16% predicting a decrease in orders (up from only 6% last month).
Average daily shipping levels declined in April. Only 46% of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 53% in March), 41% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 37% last month), and 13% report a decrease in shipping levels (up from 10% in March).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 9% in April, from 7% in March. However, this number is lower than April 2011, when metalformers reported 11% of their workforce on short time or layoff.