The U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report for July 2016 shows that orders dropped 24.8 percent for the month compared to June, according to data from AMT — The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Year over year, monthly orders were down 23.0 percent compared to July 2015.
“The automotive and aerospace industries moved into a summer slump, piling on to manufacturing’s ongoing challenges from the effects of a strong dollar, weakness in key export markets and a soft oil and gas industry,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “Manufacturers are feeling cautious about the economy and hesitant to make new investments until they get a better sense of certainty.”
The latest industry forecasts indicate that the capital manufacturing equipment market will remain in negative territory through the end of the year, with a return to positive growth not coming until the second quarter of 2017. While it is anticipated that sales from IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show will boost orders later in the year, sustained growth in orders is unlikely in the immediate future. The Institute of Supply Management’s PMI, a key measure of manufacturing’s health, dropped to 49.4 in August, indicating contraction.
July 2016 manufacturing technology orders were valued at $246.38 million, down from $327.67 million in June. Year to date, orders are valued at $2,090.88 million, compared to $2,497.64 million at the same point in 2015, a drop of 16.3 percent. USMTO data is a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing companies invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.