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July U.S. machine tool consumption, $243.09 million, was down 12.7% from June but up 77.1% from the total of $137.23 million reported for July 2003, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology. With a year-to-date total of $1,585.56 million, 2004 is up 39.3% compared with 2003.
Worth noting: "The long manufacturing recession and recovery is over," said Daniel J. Meckstroth, Chief Economist for the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI. "The Federal Reserve revised upward the July 2004 figure for manufacturing production to a level that exceeded the June 2000 pre-recession peak in manufacturing production. It has taken 49 months to recoup the June 2000 pre-recession manufacturing production level. August's 0.5 percent gain in manufacturing output confirms that the manufacturing sector is back in the expansion mode," he added. "A sharp decline in electric utility production moderated the gain in overall industrial production. Electric utility production is very volatile on a month-to-month basis and will return to growth when the weather dictates."