Metalformers Predict Little Change in Economic Activity

PMA’s October report shows that 58% of metalforming companies expect no change in economic activity in the next 3 months.

Adobe Stock 334169966
©Zoran Zeremski –

Metalforming companies predict little change in business conditions during the next 3 months, according to the October 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 113 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s October report shows that 58% of metalforming companies expect no change in economic activity (compared to 49% in September) in the next 3 months, 12% anticipate a decline (compared to 11% last month), and 30% forecast an improvement in activity during the next 3 months (a decrease from 40% in September).

The survey also revealed that metalformers expect incoming orders to remain steady, with 49% forecasting an increase in orders during the next 3 months (compared to 50% in September), 40% predicting no change (a decrease from 37% last month), and 11% anticipating a decrease (compared to 13% in September).

“Metalforming manufacturers are continuing to meet the challenges to their businesses created by the economic downturn and COVID-19 pandemic,” says PMA President David Klotz. “During my recent visits to members’ plants, I’ve seen business pick up in some sectors such as automotive. However, many members continue to face severe economic headwinds. PMA is disappointed that Congress and the White House cannot agree on another economic recovery package. Our members are resilient, but Washington can help by providing access to long-term low-interest loans to purchase raw materials and equipment, business liability protection as they follow government guidelines, and an immediate claim of General Business Credits and expanding the Employee Retention Credit to Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients.”

The survey showed little change in current average daily shipping levels in October, with 57% experiencing an increase (compared to 59% in September), 32% reporting no change (an increase from 22% last month), and 11% reporting a decrease (compared to 19% in September).

Only 20% of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in October, a decrease from 23% in September and the lowest level since March 2020.