Machine tool orders began 2019 with a strong January, said AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology in a monthly report.
Orders totaled $396.31 million, the McLean, Va.-based group said. It was the second-largest January order figure 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.
January orders showed “the current expansion is not over,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement. The industry has enjoyed a sustained expansion since spring 2017.
January represented a 10.5 percent decline from December’s adjusted $442.58 million. December typically sees a surge from end-of-the-year orders.
However, January orders were 4.8 percent above the $378.05 million posted in January 2018.
AMT has said expansion this year won’t match 2018 levels. The industry had a 19 percent increase in orders last year.
Asia, Europe Contraction
Markets “in Asia and Europe began contracting in the last third of 2018, which is likely to increase supply in the U.S.,” Woods said in the statement.
“The silver lining is that global markets should rebound about the time the U.S. market is expected to begin a short-lived contraction,” he said.
One uncertainty facing the industry is trade. The U.S. and China are negotiating ways to resolve disputes that have resulted in a trade war between the two countries. There are also trade tensions between the U.S. and the European Union.