Press Room

Press Room

Business Conditions Report: November 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—November 16, 2018—Metalforming companies forecast a decline in business conditions during the next three months, according to the November 2018 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 122 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The November report shows that 21% of participants anticipate an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (down from 25% in October), 51% expect no change (compared to 63% last month), and 28% predict a decline in activity (up from 12% in October).

“While metalforming companies have proven resilient in the face of steel and aluminum tariffs, longer lead times and price spikes for these essential commodities are beginning to hurt our members as reflected by the significant jump in survey respondents who are predicting a decline in business,” said PMA President Bill Gaskin. “This is the reason that PMA is active in Washington, D.C., and with local and national media outlets to educate the Trump Administration and others about the damage that is being done to steel- and aluminum-using manufacturers. The Section 232 tariffs should be terminated as quickly as possible.”

Metalforming companies expect a downturn in incoming orders during the next three months, with 29% predicting an increase in orders (down from 31% in October), 43% anticipating no change in orders (compared to 46% in October), and 28% forecasting a decrease in orders (up from 23% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels remained steady in November. Forty-four percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (down from 45% in October), 37% report that levels are the same (compared to 35% the previous month), and 19% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 20% in October).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 6% in November, up from only 2% in October. At this time last year, only 1% 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 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.