Manufacturing technology orders may beat peak of 2011, suggests report

October 9, 2012

U.S. manufacturing may see a record year for orders with many regions continuing to see steady demand for products throughout the industry, a recent report says.

Figures from the latest United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report show that the industry has continued to have a steady year with companies reporting that demand continues to grow, despite the slow pace of the economic recovery. According to Manufacturing.net, the year-to-date total of $3,606.56 million is expected to be 4.1 percent higher than 2011, with the data providing a reliable indicator of manufacturing strategy across the country.

Every month, companies that are part of the USMTO program provide current manufacturing technology order data to the organization, which is then compiled into a series of regional breakdowns. Analysts at the USMTO divide the country into Western, Central, Midwest, Southern and Northeast segments, with each region showing the number of orders received and the financial value attributed. The analysis of this data can provide a useful barometer of business strategy in the region as companies look to invest in equipment that will increase capacity and productivity.

The latest figures released by the USMTO are for August of this year and show that the majority of the manufacturing industry are posting higher figures than at the same sample point a year ago.

Companies in the Midwest reported that manufacturing technology orders were up 6 percent from last year with $152.95 million posted, while the Western region saw an increase of 60.5 percent from August 2011 with orders totaling $79.04 million. The Southern region saw an increase 11.7 percent with orders totaling $64.77 million, leading to a year-to-date of 12 percent more than 2011. Companies in the Northeast and Central regions had a slower month, reporting figures of $49.18 million and $124.49 million, respectively, drops of 24.4 percent and 30 percent from a year ago, but both regions are expecting to finish the year in a better position than at the end of 2011.

"It’s a great sign for the industry to see both month-to-month and year-over-year gains in August, historically one of the slowest months for orders," said Douglas K. Woods, president of the Association of Manufacturing Technology."With U.S. manufacturers still working through 5 months’ worth of backlogs along with what seemed to be exceptional order activity this September, we may very well see a record year for USMTO over and above the last peak in 2011."