The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) released its latest monthly report for U.S. manufacturing technology orders on Oct. 10, and for the first time since March, the report showed gains on a month-to-month basis.
AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report showed that August orders of metal cutting, forming and fabrication machines totaled $460.7 million, up 16.3% from July but down 14.5% year-over-year. Year-to-date orders reached $3.69 billion, a 5.3% increase over the first eight months of 2021.
The 16.3% increase in August is a welcome sight after a July in which orders were down 6.1%. It also snapped a streak of four consecutive months that saw orders of manufacturing technology decline. Orders had last increased in March (15.2%).
“This is the first increase since March 2022 and the highest order level since April,” AMT chief knowledge officer Pat McGibbon said. “As we pointed out in the last release, July and August are typically slower, particularly in the months prior to IMTS (International Manufacturing Technology Show) in Chicago, the largest manufacturing technology show in the Americas.
“This increase in order activity was unexpected. While orders are returning to the typical seasonal patterns we expect, they are doing so at a very elevated level.”
While finishing August at more 5% year-over-year “really bodes well for a stronger-than-expected end to the year,” the last quarter of 2022 will present a challenge for the industry, according to McGibbon.
“Inventories of durable goods components have been increasing steadily since September 2020, while certain supply bottlenecks are holding up the delivery of machines already ordered,” he said. “We haven’t begun to see any significant increase in cancellations, but long lead times coupled with a potential economic slowdown could pose a threat to sustained order activity in the last quarter of 2022 and into the first half of 2023.”