CLEVELAND-Metalforming companies are anticipating an upswing in near-term business conditions, according to the August 2005 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) business conditions report. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 151 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

When asked what they expect the trend in general economic activity to be over the next three months, 42% of participants reported that they believe business conditions will improve (up from 32% in July), 48% think activity will remain the same (down from 57% the previous month) and 10% predict it will decrease (compared to 11% July).

Metalforming companies also are expecting incoming orders to escalate over the next three months. Fifty-three percent of respondents expect an increase in orders, up from just 41% in July; 36% forecast no change, compared to 45% the previous month; and only 11% predict a decrease in orders, down from 14% in July.

Current average daily shipping levels remained virtually the same for the third month in a row. Twenty-five percent of companies reported that current shipping levels are above those of three months ago, compared to 26% in July; 42% reported no change compared to 44% in July; and 33% reported that August shipping levels are below levels of three months ago, up from 30% in July.

The number of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dropped slightly in August. Seventeen percent of companies reported workers on short time or layoff in August, compared to 19% in July.

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at