McLean, Va. (June 12, 2023) — New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $336.7 million in April 2023, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. April orders declined 38.7% from March 2023 orders and declined 34.4% from April 2022 orders. Year-to-date orders totaled $1.72 billion in 2023, 13.6% below the same period in 2022.
“March has traditionally been one of the better months for manufacturing technology orders, so April is typically a ‘down month’; however, this April was disproportionately off,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “March 2023 was only 2% down from March in the previous year, yet the decline between March and April in 2023 was over five times larger than the decline in 2022. The momentum of order activity is clearly not as strong through the second quarter as it was last year.”
Job shops, the largest customer segment, decreased their orders by just under 39%, declining slightly more than the overall market from March to April. This is the largest monthly decline in orders from job shops since January 2017. In addition to job shops, the automotive sector significantly reduced their orders in April 2023 after an exceptional uptick in March. It should be noted that a good portion of the work contract machine shops do is on behalf of the automotive sector, so their parallel decline in orders is not unexpected.
“Consistently high interest rates, ongoing inflation, and the looming threat of a recession have caused businesses to rethink their capital investment strategies,” said Woods. “Job shops, which are the largest consumers of manufacturing technology, are mostly small and medium-sized businesses who are particularly affected by price and interest rate pressures.
“In addition to USMTO, several other industry metrics compiled by AMT are showing a slowdown in activity relative to March. Regardless of what the Federal Reserve does with interest rates later this week, their outlook on economic activity, coupled with the May USMTO numbers available shortly after, should give a good indication of how hot or cool the summer will be for the manufacturing technology industry.”
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The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) Report is based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTO program. This report, compiled by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.
AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology represents U.S.-based providers of manufacturing technology – the advanced machinery, devices, and digital equipment that U.S. manufacturing relies on to be productive, innovative, and competitive. Located in McLean, Virginia, near the nation’s capital, AMT acts as the industry’s voice to speed the pace of innovation, increase global competitiveness, and develop manufacturing’s advanced workforce of tomorrow. With extensive expertise in industry data and intelligence, as well as a full complement of international business operations, AMT offers its members an unparalleled level of support. AMT also produces IMTS – The International Manufacturing Technology Show, the premier manufacturing technology event in North America. www.amtonline.org
IIMTS – International Manufacturing Technology Show – The largest and longest running manufacturing technology trade show in the United States is held every other year at McCormick Place in Chicago, Ill. IMTS 2024 will run Sept. 9-14. IMTS is ranked among the largest trade shows in the world. Recognized as one of the world’s preeminent stages for introducing and selling manufacturing equipment and technology as well as connecting the industry’s supply chain. IMTS attracts visitors from every level of industry and more than 117 countries. IMTS 2022 had 86,307 registrants, 1,212,806 net square feet of exhibit space, 1,602 booths, and 1,816 exhibiting companies. IMTS is owned and produced by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. www.IMTS.com