Industry Headlines

Machine-Tool Consumption Rises

ROCKVILLE, MD and McLEAN, VA-March U.S. machine-tool consumption totaled $272.34 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association (AMTDA) and The Association For Manufac-turing Technology (AMT). This total, as reported by companies participating in the United States Machine Tool Consumption (USMTC) program, was up 60.5% from Feb-ruary and up 56.2% compared to the March 2003 total of $174.38 million. With a year to-date total of $609.50 million, 2004 is up 44.4% compared with 2003.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program.

"Tax incentives and a need for the latest technology to reduce manufacturing costs are driving the current surge in capital investments in the United States," says Ralph J. Nappi, president of AMTDA. "Our U.S.-based manufacturing sector is starting to gain the solid footing it needs to be more competitive globally despite the increased costs of operating businesses in our country compared to foreign competitors."

The USMTC report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. consumption data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of machine-tool consumption provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.

U.S. machine-tool consumption is also reported on a regional basis for five geographic regions of the United States.

n Northeast. March machine-tool consumption in the Northeast rose to $34.03 million, up 8.8% from February's $31.29 million and up 39.9% when compared to March a year ago. The year-to-date total of $86.38 million was up 59.4% from the comparable figure for 2003.

n South. At $52.48 million, March machine-tool consumption in the Southern region was 199.1% higher than the $17.55 million tallied in February, and 21.8% ahead of the total for last March. With a year-to-date total of $94.49 million, 2004 is 1.8% ahead of 2003 at the same time.

n Midwest. With a March total of $112.09 million, Midwestern machine-tool consumption was up 80.8% from the $62.01 million for the previous month and up 99.2% when compared with March 2003. The year-to-date total of $244.21 million beats the comparable 2003 figure by 48.1%.

n Central. Machine-tool consumption in the Central region rose to $48.78 million in March, 58.2% higher than February's $30.83 million and 52.8% higher than the total for March 2003. Year-to-date consumption rose to $107.91 million, 61.4% higher than last year at the same time.

n West. March machine-tool consumption for the West totaled $24.96 million, 10.9% less than the $28.02 million for February, but up 32.9% when compared with March 2003. At $76.52 million the year-to-date total is 76.4% higher than the comparable figure for 2003.

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