Machine tool orders posted mixed results in April, falling on a monthly basis but increasing compared with a year earlier.
Orders totaled $392.97 million in April, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT; McLean, VA) said in a monthly report.
That represented a 23% drop from March’s adjusted $508.01 million. But it was an improvement of 10.5% compared with $355.77 million in April 2017.
“April’s fall relative to March isn’t a surprise,” Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT, said in an e-mailed statement. “With many companies ending their fiscal year in March, a push for new equipment investment supercharged the end of the first quarter, which has left April short of March levels for the past 20 years,.”
“The remainder of the year is set up for a strong finish,” Woods said in the statement.
For the first four months of 2018, orders totaled $1.64 billion, AMT said. That’s up 22% from the same period last year.
The figures are based on information from companies participating in AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.
Machine tool orders began to slide in mid-2014 amid falling oil prices. Orders improved in the second half of 2016 but a sustained recovery didn’t start until spring of 2017.
Orders likely will get a boost in this year’s second half from IMTS, the massive trade show organized by AMT. IMTS is held in Chicago in September. The show typically generates a surge in orders.