U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $373.7 million, a 3.2% decrease from the same month a year ago, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.
But new orders placed in September marked a 26.4% increase from August and the highest monthly total of the year. Orders to date reached $2.32 billion, nearly a quarter lower than the 2019 YTD total.
“In addition to the positive numbers this month, we are now seeing the economic recovery reach a broader spectrum of the overall capital equipment market,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “Manufacturing is ramping back up as production, shipments, and order levels continue to improve throughout most sectors. The high demand for mold-and-die products during the height of the pandemic led to reshoring portions of the industry’s output. Additionally, a strong housing market continues to expand demand for household appliances, creating backlogs that will keep production lines busy into the winter.
“Unfortunately, there are still a few soft spots. The aerospace and oil & gas sectors, representing almost a third of our industry’s orders, will likely need several years to return to pre-COVID levels of shipments and capital spending. Still, opportunities exist, even in the hardest-hit sectors, such as growth in space and defense sectors in the aerospace industry.
“Unlike the recovery from the great recession, this recovery will not impact manufacturing sectors equally. Material handling, mold and die, and firearms will have a better year in 2020 than 2019. Manufacturing technology, cutting tools, and industrial machinery will return to 2019 levels sometime next year, but some key sectors will not see growth until after 2021.”