New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $457.7 million in October 2022, down 20% from the same month last year and down 12% from September, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.
October saw the the smallest decline in orders from an IMTS September ever recorded. Orders are nearly even with this point in 2021, roughly $4 million above the YTD total in October 2021, according to the report.
“Although we are reporting a down month and near-flat year-to-date sales, orders for manufacturing technology continue to come in at a near-record pace,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of AMT. “October 2022 was the third-highest October on record. Typically, orders in an October after an IMTS are down 23% from the previous month. Orders are returning to normal seasonal trends, but at an elevated level.”
During 2020, industries were reducing machinery orders, according to the report. Last year, they seemed to be increasing orders in unison; however, for the last several months, customer industries returned to a more independent order pattern. Job shops are placing fewer orders for machinery as they return to their core customers such as aerospace and automotive, the report states.
“While machinery orders from job shops are slowing, that trend could reverse if the economy tumbles into a mild recession,” said Woods. “In uncertain economic times, manufacturers tend to contract out any excess capacity needs instead of investing in additional machinery. This, in turn, leads job shops to require additional capacity of their own.”
Construction machinery manufacturers increased orders in October, “likely in anticipation of government-funded infrastructure projects coming online,” the report states. HVAC and appliance manufacturers decreased orders significantly in that same period. The decline in HVAC and appliances is likely the result of s”talled new home construction projects as interest rates rise and development becomes more costly,” according to the report.