MCCLEAN, VA — September 2015 U.S. manufacturing technology orders saw a monthly gain of 10.9 percent from August, but overall stand at 16.6 percent down for the first three quarters of 2015 compared to the previous year, according to the latest United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report from the Association For Manufacturing Technology.

“Considering the growth in orders we’ve seen over the past two years, this decline is not as bad as it sounds,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “It’s important to remember that 2014 was a top- performing year, and that some leveling off to minor pull backs are expected.”

Energy costs, a stronger dollar, and weakness in the global economy are having an impact on capital investment, but there are several factors working in favor of manufacturing. October marked the 77th consecutive month of a manufacturing expansion, according to the Institute for Supply Management; the trade deficit narrowed in September to its lowest level in seven months; and the two-year budget deal just signed by the President averts the possibility of a government shutdown and default through the 2016 elections, injecting some level of certainty into the business environment.

“Our forecasters predict this market softness will last at least through the 1st quarter of 2016, but it could turn around sooner rather than later. Right now, economic indicators are favorable and several of our members’ key customer segments are strong. Autos, medical equipment and aerospace are all doing exceptionally well. That should help boost capital investment,” Woods said. “Overall, we are looking positively at 2016, as we anticipate an upturn in time for IMTS.”

September U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $321.77 million. This total was up from August’s $290.25 million and down 49.6 percent when compared with the $638.82 million reported for September 2014. The year-to-date total for 2015 stands at $3,105.57 million, a 16.6 percent decline from the $3,722.27 million reported at this time in 2014. This data is a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.

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