U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $377.6 million in February, a 34.2% increase from the same month a year ago, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published Monday by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.
New orders placed in February also marked a 17.8% increase from the previous month of January.
“February was the fourth-straight month of year-over-year gains in manufacturing technology orders, signaling the recent strength is likely the beginning of a sustained recovery following the 2020 recession,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “There was a surprising uptick in February orders from the oil and gas industry despite the weather-related turmoil in the South-Central and Southeast regions, which typically drive the sector. Medical equipment manufacturers markedly increased orders in February, likely the result of increased hospital capacity allowing delayed elective procedures to be scheduled.
“Increased consumer demand throughout the economy is evidenced by an increase in total spending. In January 2020, before pandemic-induced shutdowns, total consumer spending was nearly $15 trillion. After falling during the pandemic, consumer spending rebounded in the beginning of 2021 beyond the pre-pandemic level.
“From discussions we’ve had with manufacturers, it seems clear that companies that were more bullish in their forecasts kept their inventories at a higher level and invested more heavily in capital equipment, and those who found ways to shorten their supply chains to ensure that they could fill orders kept pace with demand and drove February’s phenomenal numbers.”