Machine tool orders declined in February on both a monthly and year-over-year basis, the Association for Manufacturing Technology said today in a monthly report.
Orders totaled $337.2 million for the month, according to McLean, Va.-based AMT. That was down 15 percent from an adjusted $397.95 million in January. That figure was the second-highest January in the 22-year history of AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program. The highest January for orders was $402.02 million in 2012.
AMT said the monthly decline was paced by a “nearly 50 percent decline” in orders placed by the aerospace, engine and turbine industries.
The February figure also represented a decline of 7 percent from the $362.7 million posted in February 2018.
Orders are “still at good levels compared to this time a year ago,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT president, said in a statement. “Other indicators signal continued manufacturing strength. AMT members are generally positive heading in to the second quarter.”
For the first two months of 2019, orders totaled $735.2 million, a decline of 0.8 percent compared with the same period in 2018.
AMT has said it expects orders to cool this year following a 19 percent increase in 2018.
“Uncertainty lingers on issues such as tax, trade, and the (federal) budget,” Woods said, “and continued inaction in Washington could stall already slugging growth.”
The industry may get a boost from current trade talks between the United States and China. The two sides are negotiating trade differences in an effort to end a trade war.