U.S. manufacturing technology orders increased more than expected in February, up 19.6% from January, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report from AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. Orders were up 1.7% year over year.
“We anticipated an increase in orders after a soft January, but we are surprised by the strength of the February numbers,” says AMT President Douglas K. Woods. “What’s even more encouraging is the pickup wasn’t a spike related to any specific industry or region, but rather was broad-based – from Northeast to West as well as everything from aerospace to consumer products. This activity reinforces our projections for a full recovery in manufacturing technology orders by the end of the second quarter.”
While all regions reported growth, the Northeast grew by 41% led by the small arms and aerospace industries. Nationally, aerospace had the largest growth rate, more than doubling January’s total. There was also surprising strength reported in appliances; medical devices; and off-road and highway equipment. The February data is aligned with other key indicators of the manufacturing sector’s health. For example, every component of the March Purchasing Managers Index was up; the Federal Reserve’s manufacturing output data had its best back-to-back monthly increases in three years; and durable goods orders and housing starts climbed in February.
Orders for February 2017 totaled $300.51 million, up from January’s $251.36 million. USMTO is a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing companies invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.