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Sheet Metal

Metal Formers are Optimistic for Economy Improvement

Feb. 27, 2023
“The latest PMA Business Conditions Report shows that members are more optimistic that the economy is improving; however, the monthly swings between optimism and concern reflected in these reports underscore the volatility of the market."

The Precision Metalforming Association's (PMA) February 2023 Business Conditions Report suggests that metal forming companies in the United States and Canada are anticipating an improvement in economic activity over the next three months. The report is based on a survey of 111 metal forming companies and provides an economic indicator for the next quarter.

Compared to the previous month, the report shows an increase in the percentage of metal formers predicting an increase in general economic activity, with 18% anticipating growth (compared to 11% in January), while 63% expect no change  (compared to 59% last month), and 19% expect a decrease (down from 30% in January). Metalformers also forecast an improvement in incoming orders, with 38% expecting an increase, 40% anticipating no change, and 22% predicting a decrease.

The report also shows a spike in current average daily shipping levels in February, with 30% of respondents reporting an increase (compared to 15% in January). Lead times increased slightly, with 11% of companies reporting an increase, while 8% had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff.

PMA President David Klotz stated that the report reflects the volatility of the market, and he is looking forward to hearing more about current market conditions at PMA's Forming Our Future Leadership Conference. The report suggests that while there is some optimism among metal formers, the economic situation remains uncertain.

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $137 billion metal forming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes.