U.S./Canada metalforming business
Image caption: PMA President, David C. Klotz.
Metalforming companies forecast a downward trend in business conditions over three months, according to the November 2022 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions’ Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for the following three months of manufacturing, sampling 121 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
PMA’s November 2022 report showed that 45% of metalforming companies anticipated a decrease in general economic activity in the following three months (compared to 35% in October), 50% expected no change in activity (the same percentage reported in October 2022) and only 5% predicted an increase in activity (compared to 15% in October).
The report also showed a dip in expectations for incoming orders, with 13% of survey respondents forecasting an increase in incoming orders over the following three months (compared to 18% in October), 44% predicting no change (compared to 43% last month) and 43% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 39% in October).
Current average daily shipping levels declined in November 2022, with 32% of respondents reporting a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 23% in October 2022), 47% reporting no change (compared to 50% in October 2022) and only 21% reporting an increase (decreasing from 27% in October 2022).
“PMA’s November report shows the largest percentage of metalforming companies surveyed predicting a decrease in economic activity and a decrease in incoming orders since May 2020,” said PMA President, David Klotz.
“The slowdown reflects the continuing supply-chain challenges that I am hearing about first-hand from members across the country. Manufacturers are having a difficult time obtaining the components they need, with lead times extending in some cases from more than six months to almost a year. Some sectors/industries also are being affected negatively by higher interest rates. However, the recent FABTECH trade show, one of the largest manufacturing shows in North America, was sold out and went into overflow space, with brisk sales activity reported, indicating that we may see increased manufacturing activity beginning in the first quarter of 2023.”
According to the report, lead times continued to drop in November 2022 with only 11% of metalforming companies reporting an increase in lead times (compared to 17% in October 2022). Two per cent of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in November 2022 (compared to 4% in October), while 53% of companies were expanding their workforce (decreasing from 63% in October 2022).
PMA is the full-service trade association representing the US$ 137-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. More than 900 member companies include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.
Full report results are available at https://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf