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Machine Tool Orders Increase in February

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine tool orders posted broad gains in February, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today.

Orders totaled $377.6 million for the month. That represented an increase of 18 percent from an adjusted $320.6 million in January and a 34 percent gain from $281.3 million in February 2020.

February was the fourth consecutive month of year-over-year increases, AMT said. That “is likely the beginning of a sustained recovery following the 2020 recession,” Douglas K. Woods, president of McLean, Va.-based AMT, said in a statement.

Machine tool orders slumped last year as the economy went into a recession because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Some industries instituted temporary shutdowns beginning in March 2020 so they could institute additional safety steps.

In February, machine tool order gains took place in the oil and gas industries as well as medical equipment, Woods said.

For the first two months of 2021, orders totaled $698.2 million, a 22 percent gain from the same period a year earlier. The figures are from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.

Woods said there are indications of more gains in the coming months.

“It seems clear that manufacturers that were more bullish in their forecasts kept their inventories at a higher level and invested more heavily in capital equipment,” he said.

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