The August Precision Metalforming Association Business Conditions Report shows metalformers are feeling more optimistic about general economic activity than they have since February 2004. The breakdown: 57% of participants anticipate an improvement in overall economic activity (up from 37% in July); 35% expect that activity will remain unchanged, compared to 47% last month; and only 8% report that activity will decline, compared to 16% in July. 

 A high %age of metalforming companies also forecast an increase in incoming orders during the next three months. For instance, 62% predict an increase in orders, up from 46% in July; 27% expect no change, down from 39% the previous month; and 11% of companies anticipate a decrease in orders, compared to 15% in July. 
PMA member companies have moved sharply from the ‘down’ and ‘same’ categories to the ‘up’ category of optimism regarding current business conditions and their expectations for incoming orders and shipments,” said William E. Gaskin, president of the Precision Metalforming Association. “Data from this month’s survey corroborates the trend reported in the PMA June orders and shipments report, which demonstrated that the typical PMA member company has incoming orders that have now crossed the 12-month rolling average of orders—which had been declining for the past year—and that shipments will soon do the same.”