PMA’s July Business Conditions Report
The July report shows that 65% of participants expect that economic activity will remain unchanged during the next three months (up from 60% in June), 18% predict that activity will improve (down from 23% in June) and 17% believe that economic activity will decline (the same percentage reported in June).
Metalforming companies forecast a slight improvement in incoming orders during the next three months, with 36% predicting an increase in orders (up from 33% in June), 45% anticipating no change (compared to 48% in June) and 19% expecting a decrease in orders (the same percentage reported last month).
Current average daily shipping levels declined slightly in July. Twenty-three percent of participants report shipping levels are below levels of three months ago (compared to 24% in June), 48% report that levels are the same as three months ago (up from 41% last month) and 29% report an increase in shipping levels (compared to 35% in June).
The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff increased to 11% in July, up from 7% in June. The July 2015 figure is similar to this time last year, when 9% of companies reported workers on short time or layoff.
“PMA member companies reflect a lackluster outlook for business conditions, typical of most manufacturing sectors in the United States, as we begin Q-3,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Only 18% of member companies expect the general economic trend to rise during Q-3, the lowest level reported in several years. On a positive note, however, 65% expect the economic trend to be flat, rather than trending downward, a view reflected by only 17%. PMA’s Monthly Orders & Shipments Report, released in late July, reported that the average metalforming company experienced a one-percent decline in orders booked during the first half of 2015 vs. bookings during the same period in 2014. Shipments for the same period were dead-flat in 2015 vs. 2014, reflecting substantial concern about external factors impacting the value of the dollar, energy prices, and softening trends in the U.S. and global financial markets.”
Full report results are available here.