Cleveland, OH — According to the April 2014 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 129 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
The April report shows that 36% of participants predict that economic activity will improve during the next three months (compared to 38% in March), 58% expect that activity will remain unchanged (up from 54% last month), and 6% believe that economic activity will decline (down from 8% in March).
Metalforming companies also forecast little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 44% predicting an increase in orders (the same percentage reported in March), 44% expecting no change (compared to 45% in March) and 12% predicting a decrease in orders (up from 11% in March).
Current average daily shipping levels improved modestly in April. Fifty-four percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 48% in March), 37% report that levels are the same as three months ago (the same percentage reported last month), and 9% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 15% in March).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dropped to 8% in April, down from 11% in March. The April 2014 figure is improved from one year ago when 14% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.
“Steady as it goes seems to be the mantra among the majority of PMA’s manufacturing members as the second quarter 2014 commences,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “PMA members, especially those supplying the auto industry, are experiencing stable business conditions thus far during 2014 after a significant fall-off in the last quarter of 2013, and fears of slower auto sales that originally were forecast seem to be waning now that warmer weather has finally arrived. The major manufacturing indicators continue to be positive, but not robust. Economic expansion continues to be flat and is not achieving the 3+ percent GDP growth originally anticipated last fall, for the first half of 2014. Consensus appears to be that more of the same will continue, at least into the end of the first half of the year.”
The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at http://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf
. PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its nearly 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. PMA leads innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM Mexico tradeshows, and MetalForming
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