Press Room

Press Room

Business Conditions Report: April 2018

Friday, April 27, 2018

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano


CLEVELAND, OH—April 27, 2018—Metalforming manufacturing companies expect business conditions to remain fairly steady during the next three months, according to the April 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 123 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The April report shows that 42% of participants forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (compared to 49% in March), 52% expect no change (up from 45% last month) and only 6% anticipate a decline in activity (the same percentage reported in March).

“PMA is beginning to receive reports from its members of negative impacts from the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs, including price spikes and longer lead times,” said PMA President Roy Hardy. “It’s important to note that these tariffs impact domestic and imported steel and aluminum products that could disadvantage PMA members when competing against overseas companies. For this reason, PMA has joined other steel-and aluminum-using industry groups in asking President Trump to terminate these tariffs as soon as possible.”

Metalforming companies also anticipate little change in incoming orders during the next three months, with 47% predicting no change in orders (compared to 39% in March), 46% expecting an increase in orders (compared to 54% in March), and 7% forecasting a decrease in orders (the same percentage reported last month).

Current average daily shipping levels rose slightly in April. Fifty percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (up from 47% in March), 38% report that levels are the same (down from 39% the previous month), and 12% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 14% in March).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dropped to 2% in April, down from 3% in March. This figure is better than during April 2017, when 6% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff. 

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at http://www.pma.org/public/business_reports/pdf/BCREP.pdf. PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $137-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes. Its more than 800 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry. PMA leads companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM Mexico tradeshows, and MetalForming and 3D Metal Printing magazines.