U.S. manufacturing technology orders decreased 5% in May from the previous month to $219.4 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology (McLean, VA). New orders were 45% lower than in May 2019, and total orders through May 2020 were $1.3 billion, 31% lower than YTD 2019 orders.
“We had predicted that growth in the MT sector would be flat in the first half of 2020; however, it is down about 30% due to the impact of the pandemic on the global manufacturing industry,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “While the aerospace, defense, housing, and infrastructure sectors did better in May, growth has been uneven across industries. The automobile sector is down, and spending on medical supplies has leveled off. Significantly, very high business and consumer savings rates indicate a lack of confidence in the economy, and industry economic forecasters predict the manufacturing industry will be down about 50% before it begins to rebound in the last quarter of this year or in early 2021.
“Employment figures are the positive news,” he continued. “Layoffs in the manufacturing sector have gone down to their pre-pandemic levels, and there have been two consecutive months of national gains in employment. These gains likely trickle down into the economy in the form of increased income, greater consumer confidence, and increased spending, and lead to a return to more normal spending cycles.”
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