Metal Formers Predict Little Change in Incoming Order VolumeOctober 30, 2023
According to the October 2023 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, 54 percent of metal forming companies expect a decrease in general economic activity during the next three months (a small increase compared to 50 percent in September), while 10 percent forecast an increase in activity, up from 8 percent last month. Metal formers also anticipate little change in incoming orders, with 48 percent of survey respondents expecting a decrease in orders during the next three months, compared to 47 percent in September, and 17 percent forecasting an increase in order, down slightly compared to 19 percent in September.
Current average daily shipping levels dipped in October, with 15 percent of responding companies reporting an increase in shipping levels (compared to 23 percent in September), and 45 percent reporting a decrease in shipping levels (up from 35 percent in September).
“The report shows that PMA members remain concerned about the current economic landscape,” says PMA President David Klotz. “Notably, members in the automotive sector have expressed concern about plant shutdowns caused by the ongoing UAW strike. We are pleased that there are tentative agreements between the UAW and Ford and Stellantis, and hope that the strike is settled soon.
“Steel-consuming manufacturers also remain concerned with the U.S.-EU stalemate regarding steel and aluminum tariffs,” Klotz continues. “PMA joins other associations representing metal-using manufacturers in calling for an end to the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs on our country’s close national security allies. U.S. manufacturers need access to globally priced steel supplies as we go head-to-head for business every day with our global competition—without the benefit of tariffs or other forms of protection.”
See also: Precision Metalforming Association