U.S. cutting tool consumption in February was $196.9 million, according to a new report from the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total was up 0.2% from January’s $196.5 million and up 17.5% when compared with the $167.6 million reported for February 2022, according to the report.
The 2023 year-to-date total of $393.4 million is up 20.1% when compared to the same time period in 2022.
“At this point, cutting tool sales for 2023 are up over the same time period last year,” said Jeff Major, President of USCTI. “Business concerns still exist regarding inflation, the banking industry, and a potential recession near the end of the year.”
Eli Lustgarten, President at ESL Consultants, added: “Cutting tool manufacturers should remain cautious for the rest of the year. While business activity should hold, the economic data clearly points to a market peak. The ISM index of manufacturing of 46.2 in March 2023 is well into contraction territory for the fifth consecutive month and at the lowest level since May 2020. Further, the Business Survey Committee of ISM has reported softening new orders for the past 10 months. While we still expect cutting tool activity to finally surpass pre-COVID levels this year, producers need to remain aware of the ongoing reduction in machinery backlog and buildup of inventory.”
The graphs below include a 12-month moving average for the durable goods shipments and cutting tool orders. These values are calculated by taking the average of the most recent 12 months and plotting them over time, according to the USCTI and AMT.