CLEVELANDæMetalforming companies are expecting a slight improvement in near-term business conditions, according to the July 1, 2005 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. The report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, which samples 152 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

When asked what they expect the trend in general economic activity to be during the next three months, 32% of participants reported that they think business conditions will improve-up from 27% in June-57% anticipate activity will remain the same-compared to 54% the previous month-and just 11% predict it will decrease-down from 19% in June.

Companies also are expecting an increase in incoming orders during the next three months. Forty-one percent of respondents believe orders will increase, compared to 35% in June. Forty-five percent anticipate no change, compared to 41% the previous month, while 14% forecast a decrease in orders, down from 24% in June.

The number of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on shortened schedules or layoff stayed virtually the same for the second straight month. Nineteen percent of companies reported workers on shortened schedules or layoff in July, compared to 18% in June.

Full report results are available at