According to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report (USMTO) for December 2015, order values grew 20.4 percent compared to the prior month, says The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
While the month-to-month gain seems like an upturn for the manufacturing technology market, the average November-to-December gain since 2010 has been 22.4 percent, indicating that the end of 2015 came in below average.
“The fourth quarter turned out better than anticipated thanks to investment from the aerospace, automotive and consumer electronics industries, but the overall market will remain flat through the first three quarters of this year due to market forces like the strong dollar and low oil prices,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “It’s typical for December orders to rise as many companies invest their yearend profits into new equipment, and technology builders and suppliers try to reduce their inventories with discounted products. This uptick in orders does not change our forecast for the year.”
For all of 2015, the year’s total orders were down 17.4 percent compared to 2014.
The overall market for manufacturing technology is likely to remain soft into the third quarter of 2016, but industry forecasts predict that orders for the overall year will finish ahead 3 percent compared to 2015, with much of the activity coming in the fourth quarter.