February Metalworking Machinery Orders Surge 34% From a Year Earlier

AMT said there was a surprising uptick in February orders from the oil and gas industry despite the weather-related turmoil.

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MCLEAN, VA — US manufacturing technology orders totaled $377.6 million in February 2021, a 17.8 percent increase from January 2021 and a 34.2 percent increase over February 2020, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). The year-to-date total was $698.2 million, representing a 22.4 percent increase over the first two months of 2020. 

“February was the fourth-straight month of year-over-year gains in manufacturing technology orders, signaling the recent strength is likely the beginning of a sustained recovery following the 2020 recession,” said Douglas Woods, president of AMT. “There was a surprising uptick in February orders from the oil and gas industry despite the weather-related turmoil in the South-Central and Southeast regions, which typically drive the sector. Medical equipment manufacturers markedly increased orders in February, likely the result of increased hospital capacity allowing delayed elective procedures to be scheduled. 

“Increased consumer demand throughout the economy is evidenced by an increase in total spending. In January 2020, before pandemic-induced shutdowns, total consumer spending was nearly $15 trillion. After falling during the pandemic, consumer spending rebounded in the beginning of 2021 beyond the pre-pandemic level. 

“From discussions we’ve had with manufacturers, it seems clear that companies that were more bullish in their forecasts kept their inventories at a higher level and invested more heavily in capital equipment, and those who found ways to shorten their supply chains to ensure that they could fill orders kept pace with demand and drove February’s phenomenal numbers.” 

1Association For Manufacturing Technology

2Association For Manufacturing Technology

The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) Report is based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. This report, compiled by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity. 

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