Metalforming business on the rise

PMA report shows an order spike is on the horizon.


According to the January 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies predict improved business conditions during the next three months. Conducted monthly, the report is an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 132 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

The January report shows that 41% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months (up from 33% in December 2011), 54% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 57% last month) and only 5% report that activity will decline (down from 10% in December).

Metalforming companies also expect a spike in incoming orders during the next three months, with 51% anticipating an increase in orders (up from 40% in December), 40% forecasting no change (compared to 48% last month) and only 9% predicting a decrease in orders (down from 12% in December).

Average daily shipping levels improved in January. Thirty percent of participants report that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago (up from 25% in December), 48% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 44% last month), and 22% report a decrease in shipping levels (compared to 31% in December).

The percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained unchanged at 12% from December 2011 to January 2012. The percentage matches data reported one year ago, in January 2011.

“The metalforming industry continues to exhibit a positive outlook for 2012, despite the uncertainties created by the lack of political willpower in Washington, D.C., in Congress and the Administration, to address fundamental issues such as taxes, labor law changes and a wide range of growing regulatory obstacles that impact manufacturing,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Data from PMA’s 2011 Orders and Shipments Survey peg 2011 calendar year growth for new orders at 8 percent vs. 2010, with shipments up year-over-year by 11 percent compared to 2010. Based on PMA’s January Business Conditions Report, the first quarter of 2012 will provide a strong start to the year, consistent with the underlying strength in manufacturing which is helping to lead a slow, steady economic recovery.”

The monthly Business Conditions Report has been conducted by PMA since 1979. Full report results are available at

No comments
Consulting-Specifying Engineer's Product of the Year (POY) contest is the premier award for new products in the HVAC, fire, electrical, and...
Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing the most talented young individuals...
The MEP Giants program lists the top mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection engineering firms in the United States.
Salary survey: How much are you worth?; Dedicated outdoor air systems; Energy models and lighting
Fire, life safety in schools; Fire protection codes; Detection, suppression, and notification; 2015 Commissioning Giants; Emergency and standby power in hospitals
HVAC and building envelope: Efficient, effective systems; Designing fire sprinkler systems; Wireless controls in buildings; 2015 Product of the Year winners
Designing positive-energy buildings; Ensuring power quality; Complying with NFPA 110; Minimizing arc flash hazards
Implementing microgrids: Controlling campus power generation; Understanding cogeneration systems; Evaluating UPS system efficiency; Driving data center PUE, efficiency
Optimizing genset sizing; How the Internet of Things affects the data center; Increasing transformer efficiency; Standby vs. emergency power in mission critical facilities
As brand protection manager for Eaton’s Electrical Sector, Tom Grace oversees counterfeit awareness...
Amara Rozgus is chief editor and content manager of Consulting-Specifier Engineer magazine.
IEEE power industry experts bring their combined experience in the electrical power industry...
Michael Heinsdorf, P.E., LEED AP, CDT is an Engineering Specification Writer at ARCOM MasterSpec.