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Metalformers Expect Steady Business Over Short Term

The newly released March PMA report shows metalformers expect conditions to remain virtually unchanged from the previous month.

Metalformers surveyed by PMA said they expect orders and shipments will continue to rise or at least remain constant during the next three months. Specifically, 43% of participants expect an improvement in economic activity during the next three months, while 52% of metalformers predict that activity will remain unchanged—up from 49% last month. Interestingly, only 5% of respondents report that activity will decline—down from 6% in February.

Metalformers also forecast steady incoming orders during the next three months, according to the March report. Forty-eight percent of metalformers surveyed expect increased orders—compared to 54% in February—while 42% expect no change, up from 32% the previous month. Meanwhile, 10% of metalformers predict a decrease in orders, which is down from 14% in February.

More encouraging news: The number of metalformers with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff continued to trend downward, with 42% reporting workers on short time or layoff in March, compared to 47% in February.

“PMA’s manufacturing members are experiencing 20-30% increases in orders and shipments compared to year-ago levels, when shipping levels were declining precipitously in Q-1 and Q-2 of 2009,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. Metalformers remain cautious about the mid- and long-term outlook, but in the near term, business continues to improve, he added.  

The full March report is available online.


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