CHICAGO U.S. and Canadian metalforming companies expect little change in business conditions during the next three months, according to the Precision Metalforming Associations (PMA's) June survey.
"The metalforming industry continues to experience solid orders and shipping levels, and generally expects more of the same over the next quarter," PMA president William Gaskin said.
Orders are tracking modestly higher, with 3-percent growth compared with the first half of 2012, the association said, while shipments have fallen about 5 percent for the average PMA member company.
Fifty-nine percent of the 117 survey respondents foresee steady economic activity over the next three months compared with 63 percent making the same forecast in May, while 28 percent predict activity will improve (up from 23 percent in May) and 13 percent forecast declining activity (down from 14 percent).
PMA members also expect incoming orders to remain fairly even over the next 90 days, with 31 percent anticipating an order uptick (down from 34 percent in May), 52 percent predicting no change (up from 47 percent) and 17 percent expecting orders to fall (down from 19 percent).
Average daily shipping levels moved lower this month, with 32 percent saying shipments exceeded March levels, 44 percent saying volumes were unchanged and 24 percent reporting declining shipments, up 6 percentage points from May.
The metal fabrication industry, as tracked by the Federal Reserve Board, saw both its industrial production index and capacity utilization rate remain flat in April and May (amm.com, June 17).