MCLEAN, VA-December U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $311.03 million, according to the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT) and the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association (AMTDA). This total, as reported by companies participating in the United States Machine Tool Consumption (USMTC) program, was up 30.8% from November and up 7.8% from the total of $288.54 million reported for December 2004. With a year-end total of $3,080.61 million, 2005 was up 8.4% compared with 2004.

These numbers and all data in this report are based on the totals of actual data reported by companies participating in the USMTC program.

"December orders for machine tools increased an impressive 31% over November, bringing total year-over-year growth of 8.4% for the nation," says John B. Byrd III, AMT president. "Regionally, the health of the central region's construction and agricultural equipment industries have had a positive effect on machine tool orders while the struggling automotive industry has had the opposite effect in the Midwest. Improved health of all customer markets in 2006 will mean a positive outlook for our industry."

The USMTC report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. consumption data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of machine tool consumption provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.