Machine tool orders surged in June on a monthly basis while still running below year-earlier levels.
Orders totaled $346.7 million, up 56 percent from an adjusted $222.65 million in May, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today in a monthly report.
June orders were 6.4 percent below the $370.3 million for June 2019. AMT also said June orders were 9 percent below the monthly average in 2019.
Industries including automotive, agricultural equipment and refrigeration equipment recorded increases in orders for machine tools, McLean, Va.-based AMT said.
“Given the level of uncertainty businesses are facing, the strong June orders are a sign of the underlying health of the manufacturing sector,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement.
“The signals point to the current downturn not being as deep as initially expected; however, the duration of the downturn remains an open question,” Woods added.
For the first half of 2020, orders totaled $1.69 billion. That’s down 26 percent from $2.29 billion for the same period last year. The figures are from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.
The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) prompted factory shutdowns, including in the auto and aerospace industries. Operations have restarted but the economy is in a deep recession because of COVID-19. The coronavirus also prompted AMT to cancel its IMTS 2020 show scheduled for Chicago in September.
AMT expects momentum from June “to carry into July even if total orders are slightly below June,” Woods said.