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Machine Tool Orders Slide in August

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine tool orders slid in August, the Association for Manufacturing Technology said in a monthly report.

Orders totaled $365.59 million, the McLean, Va.-based group said today. That’s down 3.2 percent from an adjusted $377.62 million in July.

Results were worse on a year-over-year basis. The August figure was down 28 percent from $505.8 million in August 2018.

A year ago, orders were running at a strong pace, helped by AMT’s IMTS event held in September. The pace of orders cooled by early 2019.

For the first eight months, orders totaled  $2.99 billion, down 14 percent from the same period last year. Despite that decline, AMT said it was the second-highest January-August figure since 2014.

AMT said orders will recover in 2020.

Markets “should pick up in the U.S. as early as next summer, and will pick up in Europe several months earlier, taking the pressure off the U.S.,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement.

Trade Accord

The United States reached a new trade agreement with Japan in September and it was signed earlier this month.

Woods said that accord will help the economy.

“It is likely the Free Trade Agreement with Japan will substantially reduce tariffs on U.S. machine tools imports from Japan, which will require some adjustments,” he said. “Overall, it should have a positive impact on trade and improve the profitability and opportunities of U.S. agricultural, automotive and aerospace sectors, which could well offset any negative effects of tariffs falling on manufacturing technology imports.”

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