Quality Magazine

PMA Reports Summer Slowdown

June 15, 2010

CLEVELAND, OH-According to the June 2010 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect business conditions to dip during the next three months, an indication of the summer slowdown typically experienced by the industry. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 131 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The June report shows that 24% of participants expect an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (down from 42% in May), 59% predict that activity will remain unchanged (up from 48% last month) and 17% report that activity will decline (up from 10% in May).

Metalforming companies also anticipate a modest softening for incoming orders, although 30% of participants forecast an increase in orders for the next three months (down substantially from 46% in May). Forty-seven percent of companies expect no change (compared to 39% the previous month) and 23% predict a decrease in orders (up from 15% in May).

However, average daily shipping levels remained fairly steady in June. Forty-eight percent of participants reported that average daily shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (down from 54% in May), 43% report no change (compared to 34% in May) and 9% report that shipping levels are below levels of three months ago (down from 12% in May).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dropped again in June, with only 27% of companies reporting workers on short time or layoff, compared to 30% in May. This marks the lowest level since September 2008.

“The metalforming industry appears to be reacting to seasonal business trends and continuing concern about the strength of the economic recovery due to slow job growth, a cautious consumer, credit issues and perhaps from uncertainties from the Gulf oil spill,” says William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “The outlook for new orders remains strong, even though it is somewhat softer than it has been over the past few months. The June 2010 outlook for new orders is almost precisely at the average levels of the past 30 years-which reflects 32% anticipating an increase (vs. 30% this year); 45% expecting no change (vs. 47% in 2010) and 23% expecting a decrease (identical to 2010 levels). And only 9% of members anticipate that their shipments during the next three months will decline over their current levels.”