Machine tool orders surged 20.6% in December as manufacturing “is showing signs of growth,” the Association for Manufacturing Technology said today in a monthly report.
Orders totaled $406.72 million, up from a revised $337.24 million in November, according to AMT (McLean, VA). The December figure was just under the $406.95 million in December 2015.
“There has been a significant uptick in shipments for cutting tools,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement. “Gains for machine shop investment are promising because they typically mark an overall greater need for capacity, and a broader upturn on the horizon.”
For all of 2016, machine tool orders fell 4% to $4.01 billion, AMT said. The gap between 2016 and 2015 orders narrowed significantly during the second half of last year.
Orders for the first six months of the year plunged 16% compared with 2015’s first half. One factor in the second-half improvement was IMTS 2016, the massive trade show organized by AMT and held in Chicago.
The figures are based on information from companies participating in AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders program.
The group has said it expects a sustained recovery in machine tool orders in April or May.
Other economic reports related to manufacturing have shown improvement.
The Institute for Supply Management said Feb. 1 that its PMI, which measures economic activity in manufacturing, was 56% in January. That was the highest level for the index in more than two years. The PMI is based on a survey of purchasing and supply executives in 18 industries.