MCLEAN, VA—Sales of machine tools in the United States totaled $198.19 million in December 2002. That is an increase of 45.5% compared with sales in November 2002 and an increase of 18.1% compared with sales in December 2001.

According to statistics from the American Machine Tool Distributor’s Association (AMTDA) and the AMT—The Association for Manufacturing Technology, sales of machine tools in 2002 were down 22.8% compared with sales in 2001.

“The machine tool industry closed a dismal 2002 on a high note,” says Ralph J. Nappi, AMTDA president. “Increased orders for December may indicate the beginning of a long-awaited and needed recovery. Coupled with three consecutive months of manufacturing growth, as reported by the Institute for Supply Management, this gives the machine tool industry hope that China is not going to take away all U.S. manufacturing.”