CLEVELAND—America’s metalforming industry expects its most dramatic economic upturn in the past 15 months, according to the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for the manufacturing world, sampling 149 manufacturing companies.

Forty-two percent of the August survey’s respondents say they thought economic activity would increase over the next three months compared to August, up from 28% in the previous survey. This is the highest percentage since May 2002. Only 9% predict that activity will decrease, while 49% expect conditions to remain the same.

When asked to project incoming orders for the next three months, 48% thought orders would increase, an improvement of 12% from last month, and again the highest number since May 2002. Less than 10% anticipate that orders would drop, while 43% think orders will remain constant.

Participants were also asked to report whether any of the plant’s workforce was on short time or layoff. Nearly 80% reported that they were not, a 5% improvement from the previous survey and the most encouraging result in four months.