US Metalworking Machinery Orders' Year-Over-Year Gap Continues to Narrow

October orders for manufacturing technology were down 20 percent year-over-year, but that's a major improvement from this past Spring.

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MCLEAN, VA — U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders totaled $383.8 million in October 2020, an increase of 3.7% from September 2020, and the highest dollar value since December 2019, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. October 2020 orders decreased 1.9% from October 2019; however, this was smallest year over year difference in 2020 and a stark contrast to the 43.1% year over year decrease seen in May 2020. Total orders through October reached $3.07 billion, a decrease of 20.2% from 2019.  

“All metrics point to a continuation of economic recovery in the manufacturing technology sector,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “Industrial machinery orders were strong in many industries relative to this time last year. The mold and die sector experienced strong growth for the second straight month, with orders being multiples of typical numbers and strongly indicating that mold and die manufacturing is being reshored. Pandemic-related needs for secure supplies of medical equipment, as well as continued strong growth for consumer products such as appliances, also contributed to this growth. Consumer products grew due to a continued strong housing market; housing starts in the last two months have been higher than any time since 2007.” 

“Additionally, we’re seeing large investments in capital equipment in the automotive sector with substantial investments going to EVs and hybrid vehicles, while some traditional manufacturing lines are just being refurbished versus replaced. The rail industry is also investing – largely to refurbish both rail cars and infrastructure – as transport of goods by rail to centralized warehouses for home delivery continues to grow as a consequence of the pandemic.” 

“Unfortunately, the news is still not promising in the lagging aerospace and oil & gas sectors, as these sectors are still experiencing weak growth, and we do not foresee any significant uptick in growth in either sector in the foreseeable future.” 



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