Report: Metal Formers Expect Steady Economic Activity

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Metal-forming manufacturers predict little change in economic activity over the next three months, a trend that has held steady since the start of the year, according to the April 2024 Precision Metalforming Association’s Business Conditions Report. 

Prepared monthly, PMA’s report provides an economic indicator for the next three months of manufacturing, sampling 99 metal-forming companies in the United States and Canada.

According to the report, 67% of the manufacturers responding to the survey forecast no change in general economic activity in the next three months (compared with 60% in March); 21% forecast an increase in activity (compared with 24% last month); and 12% anticipate a decrease in activity (down from 16% in March).

Metal formers also predict minor changes in incoming orders, with 54% of survey respondents expecting no change in orders during the next three months (compared with 45% in March), 33% forecasting an increase in orders (compared with 39% in March) and 13% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared with 16% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels remained steady, with 48% reporting no change in shipping levels (increasing from 44% in March), 21% reporting an increase in levels (compared with 24% last month) and 31% reporting a decrease in levels (compared with 32% last month).

“The ongoing ambiguity around the tax landscape continues to be a drag on the metal-forming industry as reflected by a 10% drop in companies that are currently expanding their workforce,” said David Klotz, PMA president. “If Congress were to roll back the tax on R&D expenditures and reinstate the ability for companies to fully deduct those costs, and restore 100% bonus depreciation, we would anticipate an immediate and positive shift in industry sentiment, hiring and future business condition projections. Resolving these critical tax issues would provide a much-needed injection of confidence and incentivize the strategic investments that are vital to maintaining our industry’s competitive edge.” 

To download the full report, click HERE.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.