Orders for manufacturing technology kept their momentum in October 2017, gaining 6.3 percent over September to a total value of $428.32 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report from The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Year to date, orders are up 7.6 percent compared to the same point in 2016.
AMT analysis shows the manufacturing technology market on an upturn through the last quarter of 2017. Most major industrial sectors showed improvement in October, with medical equipment orders up 60 percent and contract machine shops also continuing to invest. Aerospace orders declined for the month after an exceptionally strong September, and orders from the off-road equipment industry also showed weakness.
“Growth is likely to remain positive for capital equipment investment as manufacturers leverage new technology to stay competitive, and our members have reported strong quotation activity for the last 60 days,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “In addition, export growth has continued while imports have fallen, increasing the demand for U.S.-made products both at home and abroad. Expectations are that the improving market will finish with a strong fourth quarter and easily transition into 2018.”
The overall U.S. manufacturing economy has shown strength, including gains in industrial production and a PMI at 58.2, well above the 50 that indicates expansion. Strong consumer sentiment for several consecutive months is also propelling a sense of economic confidence. Durable goods orders – orders for products produced by manufacturing technology – have been consistently over $235 billion a month which has driven backlogs up and put increasing pressure on capacity in many industrial sectors.