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Metalformers Continue to Experience Supply Shortages and Other Challenges, PMA Says

Metalforming companies anticipate little change in business conditions during the next three months, according to the Business Conditions Report for November 2021 from the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA).

Posted: November 29, 2021


Prepared monthly, the report provides an economic indicator for manufacturing, sampling 105 metalforming companies in the United States and Canada.

PMA’s November report shows that 55 percent of metalforming companies predict no change in general economic activity in the next three months (increasing from 48 percent in October), 25 percent predict an increase in activity (compared to 27 percent in October), and 20 percent expect a decrease in activity (compared to 25 percent in October).

Also, 59 percent of respondents reported an increase in lead times (compared to 58 percent in October).

“PMA members are experiencing brisk business activity but continue to face challenges sourcing needed raw materials,” said David Klotz, PMA president. “PMA is concerned with the continued steel supply shortages, which will now only be exacerbated with the new infrastructure bill signed into law earlier this month.

“In addition, we are concerned that the deal reached this month between the United States and European Union that replaces the Section 232 steel and aluminum tariffs with a tariff-rate quota could lead to market manipulation and allow for gaming of the system that could put our members and other small and medium-sized manufacturers at a disadvantage. Our team in Washington, D.C., will continue to advocate for the termination of these unnecessary and damaging trade restrictions on steel and aluminum.”

Metalformers expect a slight dip in incoming orders in the next three months, with 31 percent forecasting a decrease in orders (compared to 25 percent in October), 36 percent forecasting no change (compared to 43 percent in October) and 33 percent forecasting an increase in orders (compared to 32 percent in October).

Current average daily shipping levels rose in November, with 49 percent of survey respondents reporting an increase (compared to 41 percent in October), 31 percent reporting no change (compared to 32 percent in October) and 20 percent reporting a decrease (compared to 27 percent in October).

Four percent of responding metalforming companies had a portion of their workforce on short time or layoff in November, the same percentage reported in September and October.

Full report results are available at

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