U.S. manufacturing technology orders have dropped the past couple months from a nearly $502 million high in March, but they continue to well outpace 2010 orders. May orders totaled more than $388 million, down 2.6% from April, but up more than 121% from May 2010, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Assn. (AMTDA) and the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology (AMT). Year-to-date orders have reached almost $2 billion, up 108% over 2010.
The numbers are based on data reported by companies participating in the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO, formerly USMTC) program. “The May order numbers confirm our members’ reports of continued strong project levels by manufacturing companies to improve productivity in their factories,” said Peter Borden, AMTDA president. “The 2,000 unit-per-month level signifies a very healthy demand still in place as we head toward the close of the second quarter.”
Three of the five regions that the two associations track actually showed a month-over-month rise in manufacturing technology orders in May. The Northeast, Southern and Midwest regions all performed well, with orders rising 8.4%, 5.1% and 10.9%, respectively. The Midwest has been coming on particularly strong, with May orders up almost 233% over the previous year, and 2011 year-to-date totals at 168.5% more than the comparable figure for 2010.
The Central region’s technology orders dropped almost 22% in May to just over $95 million, but are up almost 84% year-over-year. The Western region saw orders fall 12% in May, but performance gained 94% over the previous May.