PMPA shares important precision machining information you may have missed while  you were making essential parts. 

January 27, 2023

New York Fed Manufacturing Index

Year-End Slump – Fed Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

According to their latest release, “Industrial production decreased 0.7 percent in December and 1.7 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter. In December, manufacturing output fell 1.3 percent amid widespread declines across the sector. At 103.4 percent of its 2017 average, total industrial production in December was 1.6 percent above its year-earlier level. Capacity utilization dropped 0.6 percentage point in December to 78.8 percent, a rate that is 0.8 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2021) average.”

Manufacturing Output

“Manufacturing output fell 1.3 percent in December and moved down 2.5 percent at an annual rate in the fourth quarter. In December, the indexes for durable and nondurable manufacturing dropped 1.1 percent and 1.5 percent, respectively.”

Capacity Utilization

“Capacity utilization for manufacturing decreased 1.0 percentage point in December to 77.5 percent, a rate that is 0.7 percentage point below its long-run average.”


Our Take: We believe that these declines are not unexpected given both the typical seasonal ordering pattern of our customers and the elevated production levels that we have enjoyed all year. We consider this a normal seasonal respite, not an omen of gloom.


The Bureau of Labor Statistics just released their December PPI report. “The Producer Price Index for final demand declined 0.5 percent in December, seasonally adjusted., Final demand prices advanced 0.2 percent in November and 0.4 percent in October. On an unadjusted basis, the index for final demand increased 6.2 percent in 2022 after rising 10.0 percent in 2021.”


Our Take: We welcome the decrease in the last two months, but the market reality is that we are paying at least 6.2 percent more for our shop essentials in aggregate  according to this report.

Management Update

Today is the deadline to make hotel reservations for Management Update!  Our Management Update conference in Louisville, Kentucky is February 23-26th and you don’t want to miss it. We will be at the Omni Louisville Hotel, and our special room rate is only $209, so be sure to take advantage of that low rate.  This year’s Management Update conference is packed with up-to-date information and networking opportunities – including a speed networking session.  Be sure to go to to get your hotel room and to register.


PODCAST – Training is More Than a Skills Upgrade

PODCAST – Cleaning Solutions

WEEKLY TIP – 5 Buyer Decisions


Final Cut of the Week Videos from 2022







PMPA shares important precision machining information you may have missed while  you were making essential parts. 

January 20, 2023

New York Fed Manufacturing Index

Business activity contracted sharply in New York State, according to firms responding to the January 2023 Empire State Manufacturing Survey. The headline general business conditions index fell twenty-two points to -32.9. New orders and shipments declined substantially. Delivery times held steady, and inventories edged higher. Employment growth stalled, and the average workweek shortened.

Our Take: This is the lowest Index since May of 2020 (at the start of the Covid-19 crisis.) and well below  expected. The NY Fed says that firms expect little improvement in business conditions over the next six months. Good time to start to cross train your performers.

New Book for a New Year: Reinventing the Supply Chain: A 21st Century Covenant with America  by Jack Buffington

The pandemic’s shock to the supply chain should be a wake-up call…there’s been so much disruption in materials and consumer demand related to labor and inflation and geopolitics… the model is broken in comparison to what the demands are for today. The complexities related to a globalized supply chain, human systems aren’t capable of handling it. Covid wasn’t the cause of the problems with the supply chain, it was a trigger to show how bad it was.”

Why we recommend this: In his book, Buffington  proposes a transformation  of the global supply chain system into a community based value chain–  one where our shops can take a lead as members of their value chain community, just like we did during the Covid-19 crisis.

Buy it here:

We discovered it through :


The biggest U.S. show for precision machining is happening in Cleveland this spring.  The Precision Machining Technology Show – also known as PMTS – will be held in the Cleveland Convention Center from April 18-20.  The halls will be filled with the new technology solutions and attendees can learn about process innovations – everything you need to take back and immediately put to use in your own shop. Registration is open on


PODCAST – Training

WEEKLY TIP – Dimensional Contraction of 17-4 PH Stainless Steel


Final Cut of the Week Videos from 2022






PMPA shares important precision machining information you may have missed while  you were making essential parts. 

January 13, 2023


NFIB Small Business Optimism Index

The National Federation of Independent Business reported Wednesday that its Small Business Optimism Index “declined 2.1 points in December to 89.8, marking the 12th consecutive month below the 49-year average of 98.”

Owners surveyed expected business conditions to worsen – dropping to a net negative of 51%. Inflation, not workforce, was cited as the single most important problem they face.

Workforce prospects remain elevated, according to NFIB, as 55% of owners reported hiring or trying to hire in December.


Employment & Job Openings

Manufacturing Employment in Manufacturing increased in December – non farm employment up 233,000, as the unemployment rate (U-3) edged down to 3.5 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Over the month, employment in manufacturing changed little (+8,000), as job gains in durable goods (+24,000) were partially offset by losses in nondurable goods (-16,000). In 2022, manufacturing added an average of 32,000 jobs per month, little different than the average of 30,000 jobs per month in 2021.

Manufacturing Job Openings There were 779,000 manufacturing job openings in November, averaging nearly 837,000 over the past 12 months and remaining well above pre-pandemic levels. Seasonally adjusted, the rate  (openings on the last business day of the month  divided by total employment plus job openings)  was up 0.4 percent at 5.7 percent.  Total hires came in at 402,000 while separations logged 393,000.

For those interested, Durable goods manufacturing openings were 498,000, non-durable goods openings 281,222.
Employment opportunities, as measured by job openings remain well above pre-pandemic levels.

Manufacturing New Orders

Manufacturing New Orders for manufactured durable goods in November decreased $5.8 billion or 2.1 percent to $270.6 billion, the U.S. Census Bureau announced today.  This was a change from the  three consecutive monthly increases, (it followed a 0.7 percent October increase.) Excluding transportation, new orders increased 0.2 percent. Excluding defense, new orders decreased 2.6 percent. Transportation equipment, down following three consecutive monthly increases, drove the decrease, $6.1 billion or 6.3 percent to $91.3 billion.


PODCAST – Management Update Primer

PODCAST – Workholding

WEEKLY TIP – Training is More Than A Skills Upgrade


Final Cut of the Week Videos from 2022






PMPA shares important precision machining information you may have missed while  you were making essential parts. 

January 6, 2023

Manufacturing Rebound in Q3

According to Chad Moutray at NAM,“…the U.S. economy rebounded in the third quarter, expanding 3.2% at the annual rate. Manufacturing contributed $2.81 Trillion to the US in the 3rd quarter. Despite the improvement in activity in the third quarter, significant downside risks remained in the economic outlook, with the risk of a recession elevated.”

Moutray  added that  the current forecast “is for real GDP to increase 2.0% in 2022 on an annual basis, with 1.1% growth in 2023.”

– source Chad Moutray,  Monday Economic Report

Link to BEA GDP Third Estimate:

Durable Goods

New orders for manufactured durable goods in November, down following three consecutive monthly increases, decreased $5.8 billion or 2.1 percent to $270.6 billion in November. But  excluding transportation equipment, new durable goods orders actually  increased 0.2% from $179.0 billion to $179.3 billion.


Our take: Despite the negative press, the manufacturing economy is continuing to be productive. Despite all the wringing of hands about a forthcoming recession, and the softening of demand in transportation, the experts  look for over 2% growth in US GDP in 2022, and over 1% for 2023. It could be MUCH worse!

PMPA Event Schedule

PODCAST – Manufacturing Positivity

WEEKLY TIP – State of Manufacturing

PODCAST – Choosing Work Perks


Final Cut of the Week Videos from 2022