Manufacturing technology orders continued to make gains in March, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology.
Orders were up 34.8 percent compared to February, and up 3.3 percent compared to March 2016. Orders for March 2017 totaled $407.53 million, up from $302.27 million in February. Year-to-date orders total $961.13 million, down 1.4 percent from the same point in 2016. USMTO is a leading economic indicator as manufacturing companies invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.
“An increase for the month was expected, since it marked the end of the fiscal year for many companies, but it’s encouraging to see the last two months outpacing their 2016 levels – the possible start of an upward market trend,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “When manufacturers make investments to boost their capacity and productivity, it’s a good sign for a strengthening manufacturing economy.”
Leading indicators show that promising gains for manufacturing are likely to continue. Consumer sentiment is on the rise, which will lead to more purchases of durable goods like cars, appliances, electronics, and housing. Cutting tool shipments have grown, a marker of increased productivity. Machine shop spending for capital equipment has also been on the rise, indicating that manufacturers are using their services for excess capacity.