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Machine Tool Orders Decline in June

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine tool orders fell in June on both a monthly and year-over-year basis, the Association for Manufacturing Technology said in a report issued today. Additional declines are forecast for the second half of 2019, AMT said.

Orders totaled $357.8 million for the month, down 7.7 percent from an adjusted $387.6 million in May.

“June is typically down from May because it represents the start of the summer months,” Pat McGibbon, AMT’s chief knowledge officer, said in a video that was part of the report. One bright spot for the month was orders from job shops, he said.

Declines compared with 2018 levels were more severe. June orders slid 15 percent from $421.9 million in June 2018. For the first half of the year, orders totaled $2.25 billion, down 13 percent from the same period in 2018.

The figures are based on information from companies participating in McLean, Va.-based AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.

Tough Comparisons

Year-over-year comparisons “are likely to get worse as we get through the rest of the year,” McGibbon said. “That number is likely to get a lot worse before it gets better.”

The AMT executive said orders for the first nine months will probably be down at least 20 percent. Orders totaled a combined $1.1 billion in August and September 2018. That will make for tough comparisons when August and September 2019 orders are recorded.

AMT expects a good month for orders in December, with a more general recovery in 2020, McGibbon said.

Machine tools are among the industries that have been affected by the U.S.-China trade war plus a slowing manufacturing economy.

“The manufacturing technology market is under pressure from ongoing trade issues and a global manufacturing slowdown, which is driving competitiveness in the North American market,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT president, said in a statement. “Our members are adjusting their business models to address these challenges.”

McGibbon’s video is embedded below:

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