Machine tool orders soared in March amid strong demand across the United States, the Association for Manufacturing Technology (McLean, VA) said.
Orders totaled $508.7 million in March, up 42% from an adjusted $359.1 million the month before, according to a monthly report. The March orders also represented a 23% advance from $414.7 million in March 2017.
For the year’s first quarter, orders totaled $1.24 billion, a 26% gain from the first three months of 2017.
The figures are based on information from companies participating in AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program.
“Our members have been getting more than they can fill,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement. Some customers, he said, “are turning to used equipment to fulfill their needs.”
At the same time, Woods said there are some unknowns.
President Donald Trump earlier this year imposed tariffs of 25% on imported steel and 10% on aluminum. The tariffs target nations including China. However, the tariffs may be extended to other countries.
The “potential impact for tariffs to impede market growth is adding an element of uncertainty and concern,” Woods said.
AMT said increased orders were spread across the United States. That has led to “increased pressure on the supply change and longer lead times for new machine builds,” Woods said in the statement.