U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $384.81 million in April, an 8.1% drop from March's $418.67 million.
The monthly report from the Association for Manufacturing Technology also noted a 1% slip compared to April 2015. With a year-to-date total of $1,458.90 million, 2015 was down 8.5% when compared with last year.
"Right now capital equipment makers are feeling the effects of a stronger dollar, which creates a drag on exports, and lower oil and natural gas prices, which means less spending on equipment investments from the energy industry," said AMT President Douglas K. Woods. "But what is a negative now should help us later – imported components for capital equipment are costing less, and businesses will accumulate savings from lower fuel prices in the coming months, meaning more money for capital investment. We believe investment in manufacturing will remain steady, and overall performance for the year will be as strong as we saw in 2013 and 2014."
The United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, compiled by the trade association representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.
Regional Breakdown:Northeast Region: Northeast Region manufacturing technology orders in April stood at $65.95 million, 11.5% less than the $74.55 million total for March but 6.9% more than the $61.71 million for April 2014.
Southeast Region: Year-to-date manufacturing technology orders for the Southeast Region totaled $127.35 million, down 14.3% from the 2014 total at the same time.
North Central-East Region: With an April total of $127.57 million, North Central-East Region manufacturing technology orders were up 4.1% from the $122.53 million tally for March and up 29.9% when compared with April a year ago. Year-to-date orders totaled $417.42 million, down 10.5% from the comparable figure for 2014.
North Central-West Region: Manufacturing technology orders in the North Central-West Region in April totaled $69.14 million, 4.8% more than in April 2014.
South Central Region: South Central Region year-to-date manufacturing technology orders for 2015 totaled $124.44 million, down 47.9% from the comparable figure for 2014.