U.S. Cutting Tool Orders Worth Nearly $170M in February

The year-to-date total was up more than 20% compared to 2022.

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McLEAN, Va. — February 2023 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $196.9 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology.

This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, was up 0.2% from January’s $196.5 million and up 17.5% when compared with the $167.6 million reported for February 2022. With a year-to-date total of $393.4 million, 2023 is up 20.1% when compared to the same time period in 2022.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals reported by the companies participating in the CTMR program. The totals here represent the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.

“At this point, cutting tool sales for 2023 are up over the same time period last year,” said Jeff Major, president of USCTI. “Business concerns still exist regarding inflation, the banking industry, and a potential recession near the end of the year.”

Eli Lustgarten, president at ESL Consultants also spoke on business concerns for the cutting tool industry: “Cutting tool manufacturers should remain cautious for the rest of the year. While business activity should hold, the economic data clearly points to a market peak. The ISM index of manufacturing of 46.2 in March 2023 is well into contraction territory for the fifth consecutive month and at the lowest level since May 2020. Further, the Business Survey Committee of ISM has reported softening new orders for the past 10 months. While we still expect cutting tool activity to finally surpass pre-COVID levels this year, producers need to remain aware of the ongoing reduction in machinery backlog and buildup of inventory.”

The Cutting Tool Market Report is jointly compiled by AMT and USCTI, two trade associations representing the development, production, and distribution of cutting tool technology and products. It provides a monthly statement on U.S. manufacturers’ consumption of the primary consumable in the manufacturing process – the cutting tool. Analysis of cutting tool consumption is a leading indicator of both upturns and downturns in U.S. manufacturing activity, as it is a true measure of actual production levels.

Historical data for the Cutting Tool Market Report is available dating back to January 2012. This collaboration of AMT and USCTI is the first step in the two associations working together to promote and support U.S.-based manufacturers of cutting tool technology.

The graph below includes the 12-month moving average for the durable goods shipments and cutting tool orders. These values are calculated by taking the average of the most recent 12 months and plotting them over time.

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