Activity trending lower in 4th qtr.: PMA

Oct 17, 2012 | 05:29 PM | Corinna Petry

Tags  Precision Metalforming Association, survey, business trends, Corinna Petry

CHICAGO — Steel and nonferrous metal stampers and fabricators expect business activity and order rates to trend lower for the remainder of 2012, although this year’s performance exceeds that of 2011.

Forecasts for 2013 remain cloudy, members of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) told AMM Wednesday. Metrics such as number of shifts worked and pricing remain stable, they said, but the presidential election, the "fiscal cliff" and non-material costs make predictions unreliable.

"Business has tapered off some—our order book is down," the president of a southeastern metalforming company said. "Most business (activity) is ahead of last year, but we are worried about controlling costs. What do you do to change employee habits to control medical costs? On the other hand, (metal) prices are actually stable. Aerospace alloys and copper are both pretty tame, and no one sees them going anywhere."....

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