Though orders have fallen almost 28% from the year’s high in September, November U.S. manufacturing technology orders of more than $430 million are up almost 27% compared with November 2010, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Assn. (AMTDA) and the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Year-to-date orders total close to $5 billion, up about 74% over the same period in 2010.
The numbers are based on data reported by companies participating in the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program. Metal cutting machine orders, which totaled about $372 million, have fallen more than 13% since October, and more than 31% since September. Orders for metal forming and fabricating machines actually rose in November, however, to almost $58 million. That’s up 72% from October. That sector hit its high in July with nearly $105 million in orders.
“Manufacturing technology orders slowed slightly in November, but maintained their sprint toward the 2011 finish line thanks to the bonus depreciation tax incentive,” said Peter Borden, AMTDA’s president. “The order slowdown in metal cutting equipment was countered by acceleration in the fabricating sector and contributed to an increase over 2010 of nearly 75%. Backlogs for 2012 are very healthy at this point and growing longer.”
Reporting regionally, the USMTO showed that all U.S. regions fell in November orders, with the Western region hit the hardest with a 14.6% drop from October. But the region is up 34.3% from November 2010. The Northeast region fell the least in November, down just 1.8% from October, but also down by nearly the same amount from November a year ago.