According to the December 2011 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies predict a spike in business conditions 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 December report shows that 33% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months (up sharply from 11% in November), 57% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 61% last month) and only 10% report that activity will decline (down from 28% in November).
Metalforming companies also expect a significant increase in incoming orders during the next three months, with 40% anticipating an increase in orders (up from only 21% in November), 48% forecasting no change (compared to 49% last month) and 12% predicting a decrease in orders (down from 30% in November).
Average daily shipping levels remained steady in December. Twenty-five percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 27% in November), 44% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 47% last month), and 31% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 26% in November).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff declined to 12% in December, down from 17% in November. This number is lower than December 2010, when companies reported 16% of their workforce on short time or layoff.