Metalworking Machinery Orders Slide Further in November

Year-to-date orders for manufacturing technology orders dropped below 2021 for the first time in 2022, according to AMT's latest monthly report.
Closeup drilling CNC machine in automatic production with sun light.

New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $436.5 million in November 2022, down 4.5% from October 2022 and down nearly 32% from November 2021, according to data released Jan. 9 by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

AMT’s latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) also showed that year-to-date orders dropped below 2021 for the first time in 2022, sinking 3.7% below the total through November 2021.

“After recording the highest level of orders in 2021, it was only a matter of time before 2022 fell slightly behind,” AMT president Douglas Woods said. “The fact that orders stayed above 2021 levels for 10 months really speaks to the continued strength in the demand for manufacturing technology. This demand has been spurred by the extraordinary economic challenges of the last few years, which has prompted expanded domestic manufacturing as well as foreign direct investment.”

Although domestic capacity has expanded significantly over the last two years, the current economic environment is starting to affect demand for manufacturing technologies in some sectors, according to the report. Home construction and renovation have slowed amid rapidly increasing interest rates while manufacturers of household appliances have continued to reduce their orders through November 2022. Meanwhile, declining investments in capital goods by manufacturers of HVAC and commercial refrigeration reflect slowing demand from commercial construction, the report said.

“Despite some of the slowing orders, a number of our members remain confident in their 2023 projections because of the outstanding orders collected in 2022,” Woods said. “2023 will most likely be a balancing act. The manufacturing that has returned to the country will continue to spur economic activity, which may be tempered by rising interest rates and slowing demand.”

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