US manufacturing orders plow ahead in March

May 29, 2012
US demand for metal cutting, forming, and fabrication technology rose 11% from February and is up 13% year-to-date, with "no downturn in sight" say the AMT and USMTO.

McLean, VA -- US demand for metal cutting, forming, and fabrication technology rose 11% from February and is up 13% year-to-date, with "no downturn in sight," according to data from the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

Companies participating in the AMT's United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program reported $495.97 million in US manufacturing technology orders, up 11.3% from February 2012, but down -1.4% from the same month a year ago. Last month the AMT/USMTO said US manufacturing technology demand was at a 14-year high.

Through the first three months of the year, orders continue to show strength in the US manufacturing sector -- up 12.9% from the first three months of 2011 ($1.36 billion vs. $1.20 billion). Note in the graphic below the three-month moving average is trending down, though, that metric should improve as monthly numbers stay healthy.

"Manufacturing is expanding with no clear signal of a downturn in sight," said AMT president Douglas K. Woods. The sector added 34,000 jobs during March, capacity utilization is just shy of 80%, and order growth "confounds experts," he said in a statement -- though he also acknowledged challenges in future manufacturing investment including "a lack of access to credit, global supply issues, encroaching industry regulations and taxes, and overall political uncertainty."

The South was once again the fastest-growing region in March, rising 34% to $71.24 million in month/month orders; that growth was matched by the Northeast region which rebounded from a decline in February to post $71.80 million in orders. Also showing double-digit growth were the Central ($149.39 million, 13.9%) and West regions ($51.15 million, 23.3%). The largest region, the Midwest, dipped 8% to $152.39 million.

(By the way ... experts might be flummoxed, but Industrial Laser Solutions has been tracking and praising the US manufacturing sector's health for some time now, following a record year in 2011 that was difficult for many other industries.)


Total US manufacturing technology orders through March 2012. (Source: USMTO)
About the Author

Industrial Laser Solutions Editors

We edited the content of this article, which was contributed by outside sources, to fit our style and substance requirements. (Editors Note: Industrial Laser Solutions has folded as a brand and is now part of Laser Focus World, effective in 2022.)

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Precision Motion Control for Sample Manipulation in Ultra-High Resolution Tomography

April 10, 2024
Learn the critical items that designers and engineers must consider when attempting to achieve reliable ultra-high resolution tomography results here!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!