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2018 was a strong year for the precision machining industry. With sales up 7.2% our shops outperformed nearly every benchmark in terms of sales and performance including prior year and 5-year averages. Sentiment indicators bode well for the first three months of 2019.” PMPA Business Trends Report Year-end Summar

PMPA 2018 Yearend summary sentiment graph
Outlook for first three months of 2019: Lead Time remains level, prospects for Net Sales, Profitability and Employment strongly positive.

We remain optimistic regarding manufacturing outlook at our shops’ “component level.” However we acknowledge that the Manufacturing industry’s rate of growth is decelerating.
This difference between decelerating growth (which we believe we are seeing) and declining manufacturing (not what we are seeing) is important to keep in mind.
The level outlook for Lead Time tells me that we our shops are at their “practical” capacity. When they get busier in January , we expect to see this lead time indicator go up.
How to deal with this? Please see our article: Time to Change Your Thinking

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