Report: Metal Formers’ Outlook for Economic Activity Dims

CLEVELAND, Ohio – Metal forming manufacturers’ predictions for economic activity over the next three months fell heading into the summer months, according to the May 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 100 metal forming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s May report shows that only 19% of the manufacturers responding to the survey forecast an increase in economic activity in the next three months (compared with 21% in April), while 26% anticipate a decrease in activity (increasing from 12% in April). Another 55% expect no change in activity (compared with 67% last month).

Metal formers predict little change in incoming orders, with 49% of survey respondents expecting no change in orders during the next three months (compared with 54% in April), 32% forecasting an increase in orders (compared with 33% in April) and 19% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared with 13% last month).

Current average daily shipping levels remained virtually unchanged in May, with 49% reporting no change in shipping levels (compared with 48% in April), 21% reporting an increase in levels (the same percentage reported last month) and 30% reporting a decrease in levels (compared with 31% last month).

“For most of this year, metal formers’ expectations for business conditions were fairly steady, but this month’s survey shows that members are increasingly concerned with a slowdown in the economy, trade conflicts that could further increase the costs of important inputs including steel and aluminum, and a lack of progress on the tax package in Congress,” said David Klotz, PMA president.

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.