Metalformers’ 2024 Outlook Holds Steady - Modern Distribution Management

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Metalformers’ 2024 Outlook Holds Steady

Most metalforming manufacturers surveyed expect no change in general economic activity in the next three months.

Metalforming manufacturers’ predictions about business activity showed little change over the previous month, according to the latest Business Conditions Report from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

A sampling of survey responses from 97 metalforming companies in the U.S. and Canada — which collectively serve as an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing — found that:

  • 60% of the metalforming companies expect no change in general economic activity in the next three months (compared to 61% in February)
  • 24% anticipate an increase in activity (slightly up from 23% last month)
  • 16% predict a decrease in activity (not changes from last month).

Metalformers also forecast little change in incoming orders for the next three months:

  • 39% of survey respondents expecting an increase in orders during the next three months (compared to 40% in February)
  • 45% predict no change in orders (compared to 48% in February)
  • 16% anticipate a decrease in orders (an increase from 12% last month)

Current average daily shipping levels dipped in March after spiking in February:

  • 24% reported an increase in shipping levels (compared to 31% in February)
  • 44% reported no change (compared to 39% in February)
  • 32% reporting a decrease in levels (up from 30% last month)

Lead times also remained steady:

  • 6% of metalforming companies reported an increase in lead times in March (compared to 7% in February)
  • 7% of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in March (compared to 6% in February)
  • 36% of companies are currently expanding their workforce (a decrease from 44% in February)

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