Durable goods production expected to make recovery

United States durable goods manufacturers are expected to invest more than $12 billion in capital equipment in 2003, according to the 2003 Gardner Research Capital Spending Survey. The annual survey, now in its 35th year, is a study of equipment spending intentions in the United States.

Results from the 2003 survey indicate a rise of 6% over the depressed spending levels of 2002. Steve Kline, executive vice-president of Gardner Publications, says, “2002 will probably go down as the lowest year in terms of real (inflation-adjusted) spending for machine tools and plastic processing machinery since records have been kept.”

Purchases of machine tools, plastic processing machinery, and other production equipment are currently running 20% to 25% below 2001. “This is no recession — this is a flat-out depression,” says Kline. “We see next year (2003) as a rebuilding year for capital equipment manufacturers.”

Machine tool consumption in the United States is expected to reach $4.1 billion, up from a projected $3.7 billion in 2002.

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