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Machine Tool Orders Surge in August

Bill Koenig
By Bill Koenig Senior Editor, SME Media

Machine tool orders surged in August on both a monthly and year-over-year basis, an indicator of the industry’s recovery from COVID-19.

Orders for the month totaled $560 million, AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology said in a monthly report. August had the highest order figure since September 2018.

August’s figure was 19 percent higher than July’s adjusted $470.4 million and 89 percent more compared with $296.3 million in August 2020.

The year-earlier figure reflected how COVID-19 slammed the economy and manufacturing. The pandemic took hold in March 2020.

““The August numbers highlight the dramatic rebound from sales in 2020,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement.

The figures are from companies participating in AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program. The McLean, Va.-based organization said the August order figure was the sixth-highest in USMTO history.

For the first eight months of this year, orders totaled $3.55 billion, a jump of 53.5 percent from the same period in 2020. AMT said the eight-month figure was the highest since 1998.

AMT said orders related to computers had a large increase while orders for aerospace “increased modestly over July 2021 but still lagged behind their pre-pandemic spending.”

Aerospace was one of the industries hit hardest by the pandemic. Demand for air travel decreased and airlines canceled orders for new planes. The sector has improved since 2020.

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