September 2021 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $163.1 million, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. This total, as reported by companies participating in the Cutting Tool Market Report collaboration, was down 0.2% from August's $163.5 million and up 10.7% when compared with the $147.4 million reported for September 2020. With a year-to-date total of $1.5 billion, 2021 is up 7.4% when compared to the same period in 2020.
According to Brad Lawton, chairman of AMT’s Cutting Tool Product Group, “I was a recent participant at AMT's MTForecast conference, and it was a wealth of information. The forecast for 2022 is a continuing increase in gross national product but not at the increasing rate as was seen in 2021. The why is understood with one word: uncertainty! When we add up the following points – inflation, chip shortages, supply chain disruption, labor shortages, and the threat of increased business taxes – any cutting tool manufacturer understands the word. However, the resolve of the industry will continue to ride the wave of uncertainty and prepare for improved markets.”
Greg Daco, chief U.S. economist at Oxford Economics USA, comments, “Following a summer lull in which rising COVID infections and growing supply chain disruptions weighed on activity, the outlook for cutting tools appears to be brightening. In September, cutting tool shipments were 11% year-over-year higher than in 2020, in line with total durable goods shipments, up 9.2% year over year. Still, year-to-date, cutting tool shipments remained 21% below their 2019 level.” He continues, “The U.S. economy lost some luster this summer, but demand appears resilient in the face of lingering supply-chain disruptions. With the health situation having improved considerably over the past few weeks, consumer spending is firming, and high-frequency data points to an acceleration in employment growth. The combination of rebounding global growth and increased government infrastructure investment should further contribute to the sectoral tailwinds in 2022.”