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Metalformers Expect Little Change in Economic Activity

By Precision Metalforming Association Press Release

CLEVELAND—September 22, 2022—According to the September 2022 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies continue to expect little change in business conditions during the next three months and report a rebound in average daily shipping levels. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, sampling 114 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s September report shows that 60% of metalforming companies anticipate no change in general economic activity in the next three months (compared to 52% in August), 11% forecast an increase in activity (the same percentage reported in August) and 29% predict a decrease in activity (an improvement from 37% last month).

The report showed a modest improvement in expectations for incoming orders, with 19% of survey respondents forecasting an increase in incoming orders during the next three months (compared to 17% in August), 54% predicting no change (compared to 49% last month) and 27% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 34% in August).

Current average daily shipping levels rebounded in September after declining for the previous four months. Thirty-two percent of respondents reported an increase in shipping levels (compared to 19% in August), 51% reported no change (the same percentage reported last month) and only 17% reported a decrease (compared to 30% in August).

“Metalformers continue to expect fairly steady business conditions in the last quarter of the year,” said PMA President David Klotz. “Our members anticipate little change in current economic activity and shipping levels seem to be steadying after declining the last several months. What is striking is that the report shows that more than six in 10 members are expanding their workforce and trying to find workers to fill these jobs. PMA continues to assist members in promoting the great careers that can be found in manufacturing through our workforce development program. For example, the Precision Metalforming Association Educational Foundation (PMAEF), in partnership with 14 PMA districts, is providing scholarships of $1,000 or more to high school seniors and others who are training for careers in manufacturing. (There is still time to apply.) Our members also will be actively promoting manufacturing careers in October and can access a free “Rock MFG Day Toolkit” to celebrate MFG Day/Manufacturing Month. This toolkit has everything needed to host an engaging presentation, event, and/or share inspiring media over social media and online.”

Lead times remained steady, with 20% of metalforming companies reporting an increase in lead times in September (compared to 21% in August). Only 2% of companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in September (compared to 4% in August), while 67% of companies are currently expanding their workforce (increasing from 65% last month).

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