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U.S. Cutting Tool Consumption Up 10.1% in 2018, Tracks Economy’s Strength

By AMT/USCTI Cutting Tool Market Report

May U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $215.13 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT—The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report (CTMR) collaboration, was up 5.6% from April’s $203.68 million and up 12.1% when compared with the $191.93 million reported for May 2017. With a year-to-date total of $999.82 million, 2018 is up 10.1% when compared with 2017. Totals represent the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.

“The cutting tool industry continues to show improved growth in 2018. The ball is still rolling with positive numbers despite the chaos with global trade agreements,” said Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group.

CTMR-May-2018.jpg

The graph is updated to include the 12-month moving average for the Durable Goods shipments and Cutting Tool orders. These values are calculated by taking the average of the most recent 12 months and plotting them over time.

“The cutting tool results match overall economic indicators and continue to show strength in the manufacturing sector,” said Costikyan Jarvis, president of Jarvis Cutting Tools. “With cutting tools showing a 12.1% year-over-year growth, the PMI at 60.2 in June and consumer confidence a strong 126.4 in June, it would indicate that the economic train is going nicely down the tracks. This should be a great time to be in manufacturing.”

However, Jarvis added that “it would be impossible not to mention the tariffs and potential trade wars and how these issues have the possibility to derail the economic train. The 25% steel tariffs are only starting to be seen in the economy and it is not clear how the NAFTA negotiations will end. Additionally, we have picked fights with our North American neighbors, our NATO allies, and economies like China.

“It is a great concern how these costs and negotiations will alter the ability for American manufacturers to compete,” Jarvis said. “The opposing tariffs, which have already been created, will have a significant impact on the agricultural sector of the economy. This will inevitably trickle down to a reduced demand for the tractors, combines and other equipment that is manufactured for the farms. How other costs affect the larger industries like the automobile and aerospace segments remains to be seen. As someone else said. ‘an eye for an eye can leave everyone blind.’”

The Cutting Tool Market Report is jointly compiled by AMT and USCTI, two trade associations representing the development, production and distribution of cutting tool technology and products. It provides a monthly statement on U.S. manufacturers’ consumption of the primary consumables in the manufacturing process—the cutting tool. Analysis of cutting tool consumption is a leading indicator of both upturns and downturns in U.S. manufacturing activity, as it is a true measure of actual production levels.

Historical data for the Cutting Tool Market Report is available dating back to January 2012. This collaboration of AMT and USCTI is the first step in the two associations working together to promote and support U.S.-based manufacturers of cutting tools.

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