March Manufacturing Technology Orders Slowing in 2015, Arkansas Region Down Nearly 52%

by Wesley Brown ([email protected]) 105 views 

Total manufacturing technology orders for the South Central region of the U.S. fell 51.9% in March compared to a year ago, according to a monthly report by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT).

The South Central region, which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma and New Mexico, saw orders of only $84.91 million in the manufacturing technology sector, down from $176.56 million in March of 2014.

The monthly AMT report tracks manufacturing technology orders on a regional basis for six geographic breakdowns of the United States. Manufacturing technology provides the tools that enable production of all manufactured goods, AMT officials said.

Nationwide, U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $399.83 million, up 30.3% from February’s $306.96 million, but down 18.7% when compared to $491.73 million reported for March 2014.

The biggest gainers for the month were the North Central-West and Northeast regions, which rose 23.9 and 11.8%, respectively, year over year. Like the South Central region, the North Central-East, Southeast and West regions all lost ground in March compared to a year ago, although most regions are seeing improved orders from the previous month.

Altogether, year-to-date orders as reported by companies participating in the manufacturing technology benchmark are now at $1.05 billion for fiscal 2015, down 12.7% when compared with 2014.

“There are many indications that our end-user customers are making significant investments in their manufacturing facilities to increase capacity, including GM’s announcement that it will invest billions in its U.S. plants,” said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “Overall we expect the industry to hold steady with a push-pull between strong domestic investment(s) in manufacturing but a drag on foreign trade due to the dollar’s strength.”

The numbers and data in the AMT report is based on the totals actually reported by companies participating in the United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program. The information is compiled by the trade association that represents the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, and provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment.

The Association for Manufacturing Technology represents and promotes U.S.-based manufacturing technology and its members — those who design, build, sell and service evolving technology in the manufacturing sector.

Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity, AMT said.