MCLEAN, VA — US manufacturing technology orders fell 15 percent in November from the previous month to $320 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). For the first 11 months in 2019, manufacturing technology orders were $4.1 billion, down 19 percent from $5 billion in 2018 which was an especially strong year.
“This figure is in line with expectations we’ve had since January that 2019 spending would be about 20 percent lower than in 2018,” said Douglas Woods, president of AMT. “Given how strong a year 2018 was, current dollar volumes are still healthy compared to the average over the past ten years.” He continued: “November’s drop in the dollar value of orders by 15 percent while units fell by only 3 percent reflects an aggressive move by sellers to reduce inventory before the end of year. The dollar volume would have been lower if not for the growth in orders for complex machines as larger manufacturers returned to the marketplace.
“Another contributing factor to lower November orders was the tax reform enacted in 2017, which established a clear set of rules on tax incentives through 2022. This created a stability that has leveled investments in capital equipment across the year and eliminated the year-end rush to place orders.
“We expect to see the manufacturing technology market pick up in the second half of 2020 for several reasons. The U.S.-China trade deal, which will significantly increase Chinese imports of U.S. agricultural products, will lead to increased investment for agriculture equipment. Anticipated approval of USMCA will increase trade throughout North America and lead to new investment in key capital-intensive industries.”