Increasing Number of Metalformers Predict Decline in Coming Months

According to the latest PMA Business Conditions Report, metalforming companies expect a decline over the next 3 months.

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Metalforming companies anticipate a decline in business conditions during the next 3 months, according to the November 2020 Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Business Conditions Report. Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 108 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada. 

PMA’s November report shows that 19% of metalforming companies expect a decline in economic activity in the next 3 months (compared to 12% in October), 51% forecast no change (compared to 58% in October), and 30% anticipate an improvement in activity (the same percentage reported in October).

The survey also revealed that metalformers expect incoming orders to drop in the next three months, with 39% forecasting an increase in orders (a decrease from 49% in October), 44% predicting no change (compared to 40% last month), and 17% anticipating a decrease in orders (compared to 11% in October).

“The economic downturn caused by the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact metalforming manufacturers,” said PMA President David Klotz. “Our members continue to show their resiliency, but face significant challenges. Congress and the White House should help by agreeing to another economic-stimulus package during the upcoming congressional lame-duck session that gives manufacturers access to long-term low-interest loans to purchase raw materials and equipment, provides business-liability protection as they follow government guidelines, enables an immediate claim of General Business Credits, and expands the Employee Retention Credit to Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) recipients.”

Current average daily shipping levels remained fairly steady in November, with 49% experiencing an increase (compared to 57% in October), 41% reporting no change (an increase from 32% last month), and 10% reporting a decrease (compared to 11% in October).

Only 15% of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in November, a decrease from 20% in October. At this time last year, companies also reported having 15% of their workforce on short time or layoff.