Manufacturing technology orders made a 17.5 percent gain in June compared to May according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. At the end of the first half of 2016, orders are down 15.8 percent compared to the midpoint of 2015.
Current market forecasts indicate 2016 orders will finish lower than 2015, though announcements for new manufacturing facilities and factory expansions give optimism for an upturn in capital investment in the second half of 2017. Additionally, orders are expected to see a boost following IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show in September.
“There are many mixed indicators in manufacturing right now, a reflection of its creeping growth rate overall. There has not been enough expansion activity to truly impact capital investment in new equipment,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “This historical average pickup in orders for the months that immediately follow IMTS is 32 percent, which we expect to see again this year. But beyond that our industry is not likely to see sustained growth in order activity until the broader manufacturing economy accelerates.”
Economic analysts have characterized U.S. manufacturing as stabilized with the dollar moderating in value. Manufacturing technology providers report inventories of machines are much lower and the order mix for machines is shifting to more complex and sophisticated products.
Which regions will benefit in 2017?
In the video below, Pat McGibbon, vice president of strategic analytics at AMT, shares that AMT estimates more than $5 billion in new capital investments are expected in 2017 in key customer markets such as construction and automotive. The eastern and north central states are expected to receive the largest percentage of these orders with the smaller southeast region continuing its fast pace of new investment in manufacturing technology.
June 2016 manufacturing technology orders were valued at $323.74 million, compared to $275.47 million in May. For the first half of 2016, orders totaled $1,833.93 million, vs. $2,177.64 million for the first half of 2015. USMTO data is a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing companies invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.