The July 2010 Precision Metalforming Association Business Conditions Report shows that the vast majority of respondents—61%—predict that activity will remain unchanged over the short term, while 23% of participants expect an improvement in economic activity during the next three months—down from 24% in June. A mere 16% believe activity will decline—down from 17% in June.

Most metalforming companies—51%—also anticipate virtually no change when it comes to incoming orders for the next three months. Only 20% predict a decrease in orders, which is down from 23% in June, while 29% forecast an increase in orders—down from 30% in June.

In the category of average daily shipping levels, 34% of participants report that activity is above the levels seen three months ago. However, the bulk of respondents, or 54%, report no change, while a mere 12% report that shipping levels are below levels of three months ago—up from 9% in June.

“Metalforming companies, particularly suppliers to automotive, medical equipment, energy and electronics markets, continue to report very positive business conditions,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “It appears that there will be some softening in the third quarter for many automotive suppliers, due to reduced June sales.”

At the same time, Gaskin notes, many companies continue to be very cautious about the future due to the constant barrage of media coverage about the possibility of a “double-dip” recession. According to the numbers reported by PMA members, he said, it certainly appears that the recovery will continue at a slow, but steady, pace.”

The full June report is available online from the Precision Metalforming Association.