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Metalforming market conditions

April 2018

Metalforming manufacturing companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months, according to the February 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions’ Report.  Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 116 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The February report showed that 97% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (compared to 98% in January), and only 3% anticipated a decline in activity (compared to 2% last month).

Metalforming companies also anticipated little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 45% predicting no change in orders (up from 36% in January), 53% expecting an increase in orders (down from 59% in January) and only 2% forecasting a decrease in orders (down from 5% in January).

Current average daily shipping levels spiked in February. Fifty-five percent of participants reported that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (compared to 34% in January), 35% reported that levels are the same (down from 49% the previous month) and 10% reported a decrease in shipping levels (down from 17% in January).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained steady at 4% in February, the same percentage reported in January. This figure is much better than during February 2017, when 10% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff. 

Full report results are available online. 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.


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