The  PMPA Business Trends Summary Report for 2013 shines an optimistic light on first quarter 2014 for our precision machining shops and for manufacturing in general.

Optimistic light on 2014 for precision machining.
Optimistic light on 2014 for precision machining.

The 3 month sentiment indicators for Sales Outlook, Lead Times, Employment and Profitability were all strongly positive according to our 92 respondents.
That will translate into a strong first quarter according to our experience.
And how was last month and last year for the precision machining industry?

  • Our sales index for  calendar year 2013  finished at 120, a new high
  • December 2013, finished above 100, first December ever above 100.
  • December 2013  was up 17% over December 2012.
  • And the variability of sales for 2013 all year was lowest we’ve calculated, with a standard deviation of just 7.23, compared to 2012’s 11.44 and 2008’s 13.8.

Our full report looks at some key markets’ prospects in the year ahead- Automotive Light Vehicle, Aerospace, Housing, Medical Devices and how they can impact our business in 2014.
Read the full report here.

PMPA’s Business Trends Index for June 2013 is 119, identical to the value for June 2012 and down 8 points month to month from May, mirroring last year’s 6 point drop from May to June.

119 for June - 2012 and 2013.
119 for June – 2012 and 2013.

The monthly average for the index for June 2012 year to date was 122.2; for year to date June 2013 it is 123.3.

We are surprised at how closely the industry’s shipments in 2013 are mirroring 2012. And of course, we are concerned at the apparent lack of substantial growth.

Markets for precision machined products include automotive, aerospace, medical fluid power, off highway, appliances and many others

Not really  cause for concern, because:  June’s 119 is 5 points above last year’s average.

So we are not sounding any alarms here. Just wondering if all the new business development folks have gone fishing…

Business Development?
Business Development?

Get the full report here.



Industrial Production (IP) increased 0.6 percent in July after having risen 0.1 percent in both May and June.

This explains manufacturing’s contribution to the U.S. Economy too.

In July, manufacturing output increased 0.5 percent and was 5.0 percent above its year-earlier level. The factory operating rate moved up 0.2 percentage point in July to 77.8 percent, a level 1.0 percentage point below its long-run average.

Capacity utilization for total industry moved up 0.4 percentage point to 79.3 percent, a rate 1.0 percentage point below its long-run (1972–2011) average.

Revisions to the rates of change for recent months left the level of the IP  index in June little changed from its previous estimate. Manufacturing output rose 0.5 percent in July, the same rate of increase as was recorded for June.

At 98.0 percent of its 2007 average, total industrial production in July was 4.4 percent above its year-earlier level.

The production index for durable goods increased 0.8 percent in July.

Gains of more than 1 percent were recorded in

  • Primary metals,
  • Computer and electronic products,
  • Motor vehicles and parts,
  • Aerospace and miscellaneous transportation equipment,
  • Miscellaneous manufacturing.

Manufacturing  is up 5 % from July 2011 to July 2012. 

Manufacturing continues to be a strength of the U.S. Economy. The U.S. manufactures more than Brazil, Russia, India, and China combined. If U.S. Manufacturing was a country, it would be the sixth largest in the world.

Fred Graph

IP release