Metal formers see little change in business conditions in next three months
According to the June 2008 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metal forming companies do not anticipate improvement in business conditions in the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 143 metal forming companies in the United States and Canada.
When asked what the trend in general economic activity will be during the next three months, metal formers expect conditions to dip slightly. Just 12 percent of participants report that activity will improve (down from 14 percent in May), 38 percent forecast a decline in business conditions (up from 36 percent in May) and 50 percent anticipate activity will remain unchanged (the same percentage as the previous month).
Metal forming companies also expect little change in incoming orders during the next three months. Twenty-two percent of companies predict an increase in orders (down from 24 percent in May), 44 percent anticipate no change (down from 46 percent last month) and 34 percent expect a decrease in orders (compared to 30 percent in May).
Current average daily shipping levels continued to decline in June. Forty-one percent of participants report that shipping levels are below levels of three months ago (up from 36 percent in May), 40 percent report no change (down from 44 percent last month) and only 19 percent report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (compared to 20 percent in May).
The number of metal forming companies with a portion of their work force on short time or layoff remained virtually the same in June. Twenty-three percent of companies reported having a portion of their work force on short time or layoff in June, up from 22 percent in May. June 2008 levels are much bleaker than June 2007 levels, when only 14 percent of companies had part of their work force on short time or layoff.