The newly released May 2012 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report shows that metalforming companies expect business conditions to soften over the course of the next three months. This is in line with the May 2011 Business Conditions Report, which suggests a cyclical trend.

Following are a few highlights from the report:

Only 24% of participants anticipate economic activity to improve during the next three months (down from 37% in April), while 60% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 51% last month); 16% report that activity will decline (up from 12% in April).

Metalforming companies also forecast a downward trend in incoming orders during the next three months, with 20% predicting a decrease in orders (up from 16% last month). Meanwhile, 46% expect no change (up from 41% in April). Rougly one-third of survey respondents ( or 34%) anticipate an increase in orders (compared to 43% in April).

With respect to average daily shipping levels, 19% reported a decrease (up from 13% in April). Meanwhile, 44% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago (compared to 41% last month), with only 37% of participants reporting that shipping levels are above levels of three months ago.

“PMA’s manufacturing member companies report softer (but still quite positive) business conditions,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “For the first three months of 2012, metalforming companies reported strong orders and shipments, up 10 percent vs. Q-1 in 2011, so the general uptick in manufacturing that has led the economic recovery continues to be reflected in our numbers." 

The complete May 2012 PMA Business Conditions Report is available online.