Manufacturing technology orders fell 7.7% from the previous month to a total of $357.8 million in June 2019, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. While cutting technologies fell by a modest 2.1%, a majority of the month-over-month decline was driven by the more volatile forming and fabricating technologies. Orders for the first half of 2019 totaled $2,249 million, a decrease of 12.8% compared to the first half of 2018 when orders totaled $2,580 million.
“The manufacturing technology market is under pressure from ongoing trade issues and a global manufacturing slowdown, which is driving competitiveness in the North American market,” said Doug Woods, president of AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology, “Our members are adjusting their business models to address these challenges and analysts’ predicted fall in order levels in 2019.”
After more than doubling orders from April to May 2019, the agricultural implement manufacturing sector dramatically slashed orders in June, a possible spillover of the trade war impacts on farmers. Government and defense orders in June were less than a tenth of their May 2019 levels. The automotive sector reduced orders by over a third from May 2019 levels and aerospace orders declined by slightly over one tenth. While the majority of industries pulled back orders in June, there were several areas of notable growth. Medical equipment manufacturing and household appliance manufacturing increased orders nearly 40%. Job shops increased orders by modest single-digits, marking the second-straight month of growth.
The Northeast was the only region to show growing orders over the previous month and over June of last year. Orders from the Southcentral region grew 9% over May 2019 but showed a modest decline over June 2018. The largest monthly declines were in the Southeast and North Central – West, where orders fell by double digits between May and June 2019. The North Central – East region fell by nearly nine% from May 2019 and the West region had a monthly decline near equal to the year-over-year gains.
The University of Michigan Index of Consumer Sentiment was 98.4% for July 2019, essentially flat over the June reading of 98.2%. Surveys of Consumers chief economist, Richard Curtin, noted in the July press release there has been “remarkably small” variation, with the sentiment index falling within a 10.2% range over the past 30 months. The July 2019 ISM Manufacturing Report On Business reported the Purchasing Managers’ Index fell half a percentage point to 51.2, the fourth straight month of declines for the index. Capacity utilization rose for the second straight month to 76.37 in June. While light weight vehicle sales dipped slightly from May, the annual rate remained above 17 million units for the third month in 2019, at 17.239 million units.