Machine tool orders increased in October amid increased industry demand, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (McLean, VA) said in a monthly report.
The group also said it’s forecasting that 2017 will end with strong demand.
Orders totaled $428.32 million in October, a 6.3% gain from September’s $402.85 million, according to the report. October’s result also represented 21% surge from $354.1 million in October 2016.
Contributing to the gain were medical equipment and contract machine shops, AMT said. Aerospace declined after “after an exceptionally strong September,” the group said.
For the first 10 months of the year, orders increased 7.6% to $3.62 billion compared with the same period in 2016. The figures for machine tool orders are based on information from companies participating in AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders program.
Growth will probably continue as “manufacturers leverage new technology to stay competitive,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement. AMT members “have reported strong quotation activity for the last 60 days,” he said.
AMT expects “the improving market will finish with a strong fourth quarter and easily transition into 2018,” Woods said.
Machine tool orders began to slide in mid-2014 because of falling oil prices. Orders improved in the second half of 2016 but a sustained recovery didn’t start until March of this year.
Other indicators have shown a strong manufacturing economy.
The Institute for Supply Management said Dec. 1 its manufacturing index, known as the PMI, was 58.2% in November. That was slightly down from 58.7% in October but still at a strong level. An index above 50% indicates economic expansion. The PMI hasn’t been below the 50% mark since August 2016. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics said last week that manufacturers added 31,000 jobs in November.