Press Room

Press Room

Business Conditions Report: February 2019

Monday, February 25, 2019

For more information, please contact Christie Carmigiano

CLEVELAND, OH—February 25, 2019—Metalforming companies forecast an upturn in business conditions during the next three months, according to the February 2019 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 109 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The February report shows that 27% of participants anticipate an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (up from 23% in January), 66% expect no change (compared to 57% last month), and 7% predict a decline in activity (down from 20% in January).

“Metalforming companies continue to show resiliency despite continuing headwinds caused by the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs,” said PMA President David Klotz. “However, additional tariffs on autos and auto parts could severely damage not only those metalforming companies who supply to the auto sector, but the entire U.S. economy. PMA’s advocacy team is continuing to work to ensure that elected officials make policy decisions based on what is best for the entire manufacturing sector.”

Metalforming companies expect incoming orders to rise during the next three months, with 38% predicting an increase in orders (up from 31% in January), 54% anticipating no change in orders (compared to 50% in January), and 8% forecasting a decrease in orders (down from 19% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels also improved in February. Twenty-eight percent of participants report that shipping levels are above the levels of three months ago (up from 19% in January), 54% report that levels are the same (compared to 49% the previous month), and 18% report a decrease in shipping levels (down from 32% in January).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff dipped to 6% in February, down from 8% in January. At this time last year, 4% 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.