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Machine Tool Orders Post Year-Over-Year Gain in January

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine tool orders posted a year-over-year gain in January, the third straight month with such an increase, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said today.

Orders totaled $322.5 million for the month, AMT said in a monthly report. That was up 12 percent from January 2020. McLean, Va.-based AMT said such a streak of year-over-year gains hasn’t occurred since 2018. Orders at that time were at a 20-year high.

The January results were still mixed. The month represented a 29 percent decline from an adjusted $453.6 million in December.

January saw “the largest capital investments in forming technology since May 2019,” Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT, said in a statement.

Orders, he added, were helped by the auto industry where companies “are planning external body styling changes in 2021” that were postponed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Also contributing to January orders was the tool and die industry, the AMT president said. The sector “has been increasing capacity steadily since May 2020, reflecting the supply chain shifts to domestic producers.”

The figures represent data from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders program.

AMT has said it expected improved orders this year because of pent-up demand as manufacturing recovers from the pandemic.

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