Metalforming companies anticipate a softening in business conditions during the next three months, according to the findings of a survey released by the Precision Metalformers Association.  

The April report shows 45% predict that activity will remain unchanged, compared to 46% last month, with 15% stating that activity will likely decline. Less than half of participants, or 40%, forecast an improvement in economic activity during the next three months. Note: this is down from 49% in March,

Metalforming companies also expect a drop in incoming orders over the next three months, with 20% predicting a decrease in orders, up from 10% in March, with 38% anticipating no change. Less than half, or 42%, predict an increase in orders--down from 52% in March.

“The April business conditions report may reflect concern that there will be a modest softening in the pace of growth as we go deeper into the second quarter," said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. "This likely is a result of supply chain uncertainties in the aftermath of the Japanese earthquake, higher fuel prices and higher prices for flat-rolled metals. Business conditions remain very strong for most markets; however, the pace of growth appears to be leveling off as we look toward the summer months.”

Looking at the big picture, Gaskin notes business for most of the metalforming industry is quite robust, with average orders and shipments for the first two months of 2011 outpacing the same period in 2010 by 16% in orders and 17% in shipments.

View the complete April PMA report for addition details.