Manufacturing tech orders surged in September on sales related to the IMTS trade show, the Association for Manufacturing Technology said in a monthly report.
Orders for machine tools and related equipment skyrocketed 56% to $497.25 million from an adjusted $319 million in August, AMT (McLean, VA) said. The orders were up 52% from September 2015 levels of $327.1 million.
AMT produces and organizes the International Manufacturing Technology Show, held every other year in Chicago. The group dubbed the order surge in September the “IMTS effect.”
At the same time, AMT cautioned a sustained recovery in manufacturing tech orders has not yet arrived.
“This year’s uptick in orders indicates manufacturers are eager to see and confident enough to invest in the latest manufacturing technology,” Douglas K. Woods, AMT’s president, said in a statement. But he added, that “the momentum will slow heading into 2017.”
For the first nine months, orders slid 6.4% to $2.91 billion, according to AMT. The figures are based on companies participating in AMT’s US Manufacturing Technology Orders program. Pat McGibbon, an AMT vice president, said in the statement the group expects full-year 2016 orders to fall 8% compared with 2015.
Gains in orders were widespread among industries with one notable exception — the auto industry. Until recently, the auto sector was one of manufacturing’s strongest performers. AMT said September’s activity “supports news that the strongest market over the past 20-month downturn has hit the pause button due to a shift in consumer demand from cars to trucks.”
Last week, General Motors Co. said it will lay off more than 2000 workers at factories in Michigan and Ohio that assemble cars. GM is ending third shifts at the plants in January and that’s when the furloughs take effect. Ford Motor Co. said last month it’s reducing North American production by 12.5% this quarter, following a 12% cut in the third quarter.
US sales of light vehicles are hitting a plateau after a record 17.47 million deliveries in 2015. For the first 10 months, car sales have plunged 8.9% while truck sales increased 6.9%, according to Autodata Corp.
AMT has previously said it expects a sustained recovery for machine tools in the spring of 2017.