ITR Economic Report – November 2019



The Institute for Trend Research (ITR) quarterly reports focus on major areas of economic growth and decline in key market segments for the Precision Machined Products Industry. They are provided to PMPA members as part of the association’s overall business intelligence program and are used as a management tool to help PMPA members plan for what lies ahead and which markets they should focus on in a complex manufacturing environment. 



PMPA Business Trends November 2019


Business Trends Sales Index -Still Positive for the Year

“No denying seasonal effects on shipments of our products.”


Tis the Season- but not for shipping components! With 80 companies responding, the PMPA Business Trends Index for November came in at 123, down 12 points (8.8%) from October, and down 7 points (5.4%) from November of 2018. The Index average for the year is 135, up 1 point or 0.7% from last year’s 134. Despite the low value, November’s index is up 6 points or 5.1% from the five-year average for November. The 3-month moving average of this sales index is clearly moving away from the 12-month moving average- welcome to Q4 seasonality. Bottom line- not as bad as it could be- essentially even with last year



My family has a story. I’ll bet yours does too.

My grandfather and namesake, Miles Sr., joined the army cavalry back in WWI. Sounds dashing, but the assignment to cavalry in those days, for farm boys from Ohio,  was all about the barn, not about the riding.My father, Miles Jr., was first in his graduating class of 1942 to enlist in the Army. He got some great training at the New England Aircraft School and as ground crew chief was responsible for the maintenance of a number of B-17’s over Europe.

I am humbled by what he and his generation did in their late ‘teens and early twenties. Not so impressed with how I muddled through those same years in my life.

Thanks Dad.

My daughter, Emma, and her husband, have been deployed in Europe, Asia, and the Middle East with the U.S. Army. Today they call West Point home.
I’ll bet your family has some stories like this too. I hope you share them this weekend. They are important ways to share your family’s values.
I got a pass.  I got a university deferment. then I got a high draft number. No crazy Asian war for me.
So, when they bring up the flag at the parade today, I’ll be the first to jump up (or try to be) to salute, not the flag that goes by, but the sacrifices and love gifts of all who have worn the uniform of  a U.S. Armed Service, who stepped forward and chose   “Duty, Honor, Country” instead of “What’s in it for me?”
Isaac Newton is famously credited with saying “If I have seen further than most, it is because I have stood on the shoulders of Giants.”
Today, I echo his sentiment with gratitude for the service and sacrifice of the veterans. Thank you for your service. Thank you for your sacrifice.
You are all giants in my book.


November 2019

Craftsman’s Cribsheet #82

The 2019 OSHA violations list was presented at the NSC 2019 Safety Conference and Expo. It covered a citation period between Oct. 1, 2018 and Aug. 15, 2019. Of interest is that the Top Ten list of most frequent citations is evenly split between General Industry (1910) and Construction (1926). Here are the five most frequent violations applicable to our General Industry precision machining shops, as presented at the NSC 2019 conference.