Machine tool orders posted a monthly increase in December as well a gain for all of 2017, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (McLean, VA) said in a report.
Orders totaled $446.77 million in December, up 5.5% from a revised $423.29 million in November, AMT said. However, the figure was 8.2% lower than the $486.76 million in December 2016.
For 2017, orders totaled $4.52 billion, an increase of 8% from 2016’s $4.18 billion.
The figures for machine tool orders are based on information from companies participating in AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders program.
The December numbers capped off a year that saw a sustained recovery in machine tools finally begin in March. The industry began to slide in mid-2014 as falling oil prices held down demand. Orders were erratic — some months up, some down — for much of 2016.
AMT now expects continued improvement in the first three months of this year.
‘Pick Up Speed’
2017 “ended as market growth looks to pick up speed in the first quarter of 2018 with the only constraint to growth being builders ability to deliver product fast enough,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT president, said in a statement.
Rebounds in manufacturing in Europe and China have increased demand for machine tools, Woods said.
In the United States, manufacturers added jobs in 2017. Economic indicators, such as the Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index, have been running at strong levels.
Besides energy, other industry consumers of machine tools include the automotive and aerospace industries.