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Manufacturing technology orders climbed 10.5 percent year over year in April 2018, with orders for the year up 22.2 percent when compared to the same point in 2017 according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report from the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Overall orders totaled $392.97 million in April, down 22.6 percent compared to an exceptionally strong March total. April orders were the second-strongest month for the year after March.

The U.S. manufacturing economy is showing signs of continued strength, with the latest Beige Book from the Federal Reserve indicating gains for the industry in more than half of Fed bank regions. The most recent PMI for May was at 58.7, its 21st consecutive month to indicate expansion in manufacturing. However, concerns remain regarding the skilled labor shortage and uncertainty surrounding tariffs.

“April’s fall relative to March isn’t a surprise. With many companies ending their fiscal year in March, a push for new equipment investment in that month annual yields an inflated first quarter, and an April order total short of March levels for the past 20 years,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “The remainder of the year is set up for a strong finish.  The indicators consistently point to continued expansion of the manufacturing sector, and just as April orders are always lower than March, IMTS has always led to a strong fourth quarter for bookings.”

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity. AMT staff are available for further comment on this report and other data related to the manufacturing economy.

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