September Metalworking Orders Down 2.8% from August - Modern Distribution Management

Log In

September Metalworking Orders Down 2.8% from August

The year-over-year and year-to-date figures were down by far more.
MSC Industrial Supply

New orders for metal cutting, forming and fabricating machinery totaled $399 million in September 2023, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report issued by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). 

That figure is down 2.8% vs. August and down 23.4% year-over-year. Year-to-date orders reached $3.64 billion, down 13.8% from the first nine months of 2022.

“Though 2023 orders are down, activity is still above long-term historical averages, indicating relative health overall,” AMT President Douglas Woods said in a news release. “We are still seeing strength in key industries, with contract machine shops, medical, and automotive continuing to invest heavily in manufacturing technology.”

AMT noted that contract machine shops increased order value by nearly a third during September while units ordered grew by a much smaller degree. Similarly, manufacturers of medical supplies dramatically increased their overall spending, while the automotive sector also continued to increase orders. 

“Because of the longer production horizon as well as a sustained increase in demand for new vehicles, automotive manufacturers made capital spending investments despite labor challenges,” the monthly report detailed.

“The disparity in manufacturing technology investment across industries indicates that not all are paring back capital spending at once,” Woods added. “Industries that are spending healthily on manufacturing tech appear to be shifting expenditures toward highly automated machinery as evidenced by rising per-unit values.”

Though year-to-date orders have declined compared to a strong 2022, order levels are above historical averages, and there are pockets of strength in several industries. 

“Industries supported by high consumer demand and benefiting from long production timelines continued to be reliable customers of manufacturing technology,” Woods said. “We are detecting a shift in capital goods investment toward improving productivity through adoption of manufacturing technology automation.”

Related Posts

Share this article

About the Author
Recommended Reading
Leave a Reply

Leave a Comment

Sign Up for the MDM Update Newsletter

The MDM update newsletter is your best source for news and trends in the wholesale distribution industry.

Get the MDM Update Newsletter

Wholesale distribution news and trends delivered right to your inbox.

Sign-up for our free newsletter and get:

  • Up-to-date news in a quick-to-read format
  • Free access to webcasts, podcasts and live events
  • Exclusive whitepapers, research and reports
  • And more!


articles left

Want more Premium content from MDM?

Subscribe today and get:

  • New issues twice each month
  • Unlimited access to, including 10+ years of archived data
  • Current trends analysis, market data and economic updates
  • Discounts on select store products and events

Subscribe to continue reading

MDM Premium Subscribers get:

  • Unlimited access to
  • 1 year digital subscription, with new issues twice a month
  • Trends analysis, market data and quarterly economic updates
  • Deals on select store products and events



You have one free article remaining

Subscribe to MDM Premium to get unlimited access. Your subscription includes:

  • Two new issues a month
  • Access to 10+ years of archived data on
  • Quarterly economic updates, trends analysis and market data
  • Store and event discounts

To continue reading, you must be an MDM Premium subscriber.

Join other distribution executives who use MDM Premium to optimize their business. Our insights and analysis help you enter the right new markets, turbocharge your sales and marketing efforts, identify business partners that help you scale, and stay ahead of your competitors.

Register for full access

By providing your email, you agree to receive announcements from us and our partners for our newsletter, events, surveys, and partner resources per MDM Terms & Conditions. You can withdraw consent at any time.

Learn More about Custom Reports

Request a Market Prospector Demo

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.