Metalforming companies predicted improved business conditions during the summer months, according to the June 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 115 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.
For the first time since the initial effects of the coronavirus pandemic impacted the U.S. economy, metalforming companies expressed optimism about the trend of economic activity and incoming orders. PMA’s June report shows that PMA members expect an improvement in business conditions compared to April and May. Fifty-three percent of participants predict an improvement in economic activity during the next three months (increasing from 22% in May), 27% expect no change (increasing from 24% last month), and 20% anticipate a decline in economic activity (decreasing significantly from 54% in May).
Metalforming companies also forecast a spike in incoming orders, with 57% of participants expecting an increase in orders compared to 3 months ago (an increase from only 14% in May), 24% expect no change in orders (compared to 16% in May), and 19% anticipate a decrease in orders (declining sharply from 70% last month).
“The optimism reflected in PMA’s June Business Conditions Report likely stems from the lifting of stay-at-home orders in many states and the resiliency of our members,” says PMA President David Klotz. “PMA members are working to overcome the significant challenges created by COVID-19, continuing or restarting operations while protecting the safety of their employees. PMA is proud to support these efforts by serving as a resource for COVID-19-related information and through our many programs. Our Washington team also successfully advocated for modifications to the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program. The legislation passed by Congress included provisions supported by PMA such as extending the term for loan forgiveness. This will allow our members and other manufacturers to have more time to rehire workers.”
The survey also showed that metalformers experienced little change in current average daily shipping levels in June, with 81% reporting lower levels than 3 months ago (decreasing from 86% in May), 10% reporting no change (compared to 11% in May), and 9% reporting an increase (compared to 3% in May).
Forty-three percent of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in June, a decrease from 50% in May, which was the highest percentage recorded since January 2010.