According to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from The Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT), manufacturing technology orders declined slightly in November 2016, dropping 2.4 percent compared to October 2016. Overall, orders were down 5.1 percent for the year compared to the same point in 2015.
The sectors showing increased orders in the last few months of the year include automotive, aerospace and job shop sectors — indicating capital investments in anticipation of needed additional manufacturing capacity. Additionally, the recent Purchasing Managers Index from ISM grew for the fourth consecutive month to 54.7 in December, and new orders and production for U.S. factories rose to their highest levels since 2014, suggesting stronger activity ahead.
“We always talk about New Orders driving the bus and this month's number reflects consumer confidence which, I think, is at a 13 year high in the month of December,” explains Bradley J. Holcomb, CPSM, CPSD, chair of the Institute for Supply Management Manufacturing Business Survey Committee. “It starts and ends with the consumer purchasing manufactured goods and it translates to at 7.2 percent increase in New Orders.”
Industry analysts for manufacturing technology forecast that orders may begin to rebound as early as April. November 2016 total order value was $329.61 million. Year-to-date orders were valued at $3,577.71 million. Orders for the same point in 2015 were valued at $3,771.28 million.
“While our industry endured some challenges in 2016, bookings for the last few months of the year were better than expected and early input on January is very promising, particularly in the aerospace and job shop sectors,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “We are seeing improvements in the overall economy, with post-election business confidence on the rise as demonstrated by strong performance in the financial and equity markets. We hope the new presidential administration and Congress keep that momentum going by focusing on comprehensive tax reform, global competitiveness and building a skilled workforce to ensure a strong future for U.S. manufacturing.”