US demand for metal cutting, forming, and fabrication technology softened a bit in April, after a strong start to the year but is still on pace for 10% growth compared with demand from a year ago, reports the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT).
"Rising factory productivity and consistently climbing employment in the industry are indicators that the manufacturing technology sector is still going strong," stated AMT President Douglas K. Woods.
Companies participating in the AMT's United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program reported $410.42 million in US manufacturing technology orders during April, a -17% slide from March but up about 3% from April 2011. Through four months of 2012, orders are up about 10% from a year ago to $1.76 billion.
Every US region suffered in April, with the Northeast minimizing the impact (down -7.5% to $66.31 million). The Southern region, which had outpaced all others since February, sunk nearly -29% in April to $50.85 million. The largest region, the Midwest, was on pace with the overall trend, down about -17% to $125.73 million. Through the first four months of 2012, the Central region shows the most Y/Y expansion, with a 17% increase in orders.
Total US manufacturing technology orders through April 2012. (Source: USMTO)