A newly released report from the Precision Metalforming Association, or PMA, shows metalforming companies anticipate steady business conditions during the next three months.

Some highlights:

  • 46% of participants expect economic activity to improve during the next three months—down from 51% in February, while 49% predict that activity will remain unchanged (compared to 45% last month. Only 5% of respondents expect activity to decline.
  • Nearly one-half of metalforming companies anticipate continued growth in incoming orders during the next three months, with 47% forecasting an increase in orders (compared to 56% in February). By comparison, 47% expect no change—up from 33% in February—while 6% predict a decrease in orders (down from 11% last month).
  • Average daily shipping levels are on the upswing, with 53% of survey participants reporting that activity is up compared to three months ago (45% in February). By comparison, 37% report that shipping levels are the same as three months ago. Meanwhile, only 10% report a decrease in shipping levels (the same figure reported in February).
  • On the employment front, the PMA survey showed the percentage of metalforming companies with a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff remained steady at 7% in March, the same percentage as February. On the whole, this represents an improvement from March 2011, when metalformers reported 12% of their workforce on short time or layoff.

“The metalforming industry continues to benefit from overall growth in the manufacturing sector of our economy,” said William E. Gaskin, PMA president. “Shipping levels are strong and orders continue to grow modestly or hold firm.”