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Manufacturing Orders in 2023 Outperformed Expectations

February 15, 2024

Just like the larger U.S. economy fared better than many predicted at the beginning of 2023, orders of manufacturing technology, measured by the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology, outperformed even the best expectations. In an upside surprise, December 2023 orders climbed nearly 22% from November 2023, and nearly 12% above December 2022. This represents the second-highest order level in 2023 and the first month of the year to outperform 2022 order levels. 

While orders in 2023 lagged 11.2% behind those recorded in 2022, the volume in 2023 surpassed many predictions, with some of the most pessimistic forecasters expecting the year to be down nearly 20% from 2022.

Contract machine shops decreased their 2023 orders just over 21% compared to 2022. Even with their pullback, 2023 exceeded expectations due to investment from larger OEMs, which tend to operate on much longer production schedules.

Automotive orders in 2023 rose 2% from 2022. This growth came primarily from manufacturers of automotive transmissions, who made their second-largest investment since 2000, falling short of 2015 by only 1.3%. While a lot of attention has been paid to investments in electric vehicle production lines, such as the one recently announced by Toyota, automakers have also been heavily investing in production lines that make traditional internal combustion engines.

Although the aerospace sector’s 2023 orders decreased nearly 9% from 2022, it still recorded its fourth-best year for manufacturing technology orders. The sector decreased orders in 2023 by less than the overall market and is positioned to continue investing in manufacturing technology in 2024.

Manufacturers of HVAC and commercial refrigeration equipment made their largest investment in manufacturing technology since 2012, increasing orders by more than 33% from 2022. This investment likely was driven by the massive uptick in new construction brought about by recent government legislation and investment, including the Chips and Science Act, Inflation Reduction Act, and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

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See also: Association for Manufacturing Technology

Technologies: Management


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