Manufacturing continues to suffer, according to the Precision Metalforming Association's September 2002 Business Conditions Report. When asked to predict the trend of general economic activity for the next three months, 20% of the 189 manufacturing companies surveyed predicted a further decline, while 57% predicted no change and 23% expected an increase in activities.

News about expected incoming orders has mixed reviews. Twenty-one percent of respondents predicted incoming orders to decrease in the next three months, 47% predict no change in orders and 32% expect to see an increase in incoming orders, a figure that is down 8% from August's report.