MCLEAN, VA — US manufacturing technology orders soared to $346.7 million in June, a 56 percent increase over May 2020 according to the latest US Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Total orders were down 6 percent from June 2019. Orders for new machines totaled $1.69 billion through June 2020, 26 percent lower than the total through the first half of 2019.
For AMT, manufacturing technology encompasses metal cutting, forming and fabricating.
“Given the level of uncertainty businesses are facing, the strong June orders are a sign of the underlying health of the manufacturing sector,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “While promising in the current climate, June orders were still about 9 percent lower than the monthly average of 2019. The signals point to the current downturn not being as deep as initially expected; however, the duration of the downturn remains an open question."
June orders saw growth in several industries over the previous year. Notable increases were in the automotive sector, which almost doubled orders over June 2019. Agricultural equipment manufacturers nearly quadrupled and manufacturers of HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment more than tripled orders for manufacturing technology.
"It appears that the industries focused on end-use products bucked broader economic trends and increased capacity, while industries farther up the supply chain followed the general tide,” Woods observed. “It is only a matter of time before sectors farther up the supply chain will need to increase their capacity as inventories deplete and demand increases for component parts."
Between conversations with members and other data points, we are expecting this momentum to carry into July even if total orders are slightly below June. We will continue to monitor how quickly demand rebounds, but as Mark Killion of Oxford Economics noted in an address to the AMT membership in late May, a broad recovery across all customer industries may prove to be ‘irritatingly slow.’
See AMT's June chart below, and more here.