Modern Machine Shop

MAR 2017

Modern Machine Shop is focused on all aspects of metalworking technology - Providing the new product technologies; process solutions; supplier listings; business management; networking; and event information that companies need to be competitive.

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152 MMS March 2017 mmsonline.com GARDNER BUSINESS INDEX Metalworking January 2017 – 53.8 STEVEN R. KLINE, JR. DIRECTOR OF MARKET INTELLIGENCE GARDNER BUSINESS MEDIA INC. Visit Steven's blog at gardnerweb.com/ economics/blog or email him at skline2@gardnerweb.com. Metalworking industry expands for the first time in almost two years. while expor ts continued to contract. Supplier deliveries continued to lengthen. Material prices increased at a dramatically faster rate for the second month in a row. In fact, they increased at their fastest rate since February 2012. Prices received also increased for the second straight month and at their fastest rate since January 2014. After a huge spike in November at tributed to the results of the presidential election, future busi- ness expectations increased in b oth D e c e m b e r a n d Ja nu a r y, moving above 80 for the first time since July 2011. The primary metals sector grew for the fourth time in five months and at its fastest rate since June 2015. This is a positive sign for the metalworking industry, since all its manufacturers need metal to cut. The forming/fabricating industry grew at a very strong rate for the second month in a row, and metalcutting job shops grew at their fastest rate since June 2014. In fact, all but a few industries expanded in January. The Northeast was the fastest growing among all regions of the country. It was closely followed by the North Central-East and North Central-West. The South Central also grew for the first time since November 2014. The West was the only U.S. region that did not grow. Shops of all sizes grew in January. Plants with more than 250 employees grew at an accelerating rate for the fourth month in a row; facilities with 100-249 employees expanded for the fourth time in five months; shops with 50-99 employees grew for the fifth time in six months; those with 20-49 grew at their fastest rate since at least December 2011; and those with fewer than 20 employees expanded for the first time since June 2015. W ith a reading of 53.8, the Gardner Business Index showed that the metalworking indus- try grew in January for the first time since March 2015, reaching its highest point since May 2014. This also is close to its fastest rate of growth since April 2012. New orders increased for the third straight month and at their fastest rate since March 2014. 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 Jan-07 Jul-07 Jan-08 Jul-08 Jan-09 Jul-09 Jan-10 Jul-10 Jan-11 Jul-11 Jan-12 Jul-12 Jan-13 Jul-13 Jan-14 Jul-14 Jan-15 Jul-15 Jan-16 Jul-16 Jan-17 Jul-17 Metalworking Business Index The same was true for the production subindex. Although it is still contracting, the backlog sub- index continued the steady improvement that began last June and reached its highest level since August 2014. This trend in backlogs indi- cates that capacity utilization should increase in 2017. Employment increased for the third time in four months and at its fastest rate since July 2015,

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