Manufacturing orders remain steady in February

Manufacturing orders totaled $467.8 million in February, which is an improvement over January by 33%, but is down slightly from the same period in 2022.

By Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) April 10, 2023
Courtesy: Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT)

New manufacturing technology orders totaled $467.8 million in February 2023, according to the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by the Association For Manufacturing Technology (AMT). February 2023 orders were 33% above January 2023 and 1.6% below February 2022. Year-to-date orders for 2023 totaled $819.6 million, 10.7% below the first two months of 2022.

“This was the third-best February for manufacturing technology orders ever recorded, nearly 50% above the average value for February orders,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT in a press release. “Although many had anticipated a recession to take hold at the beginning of 2023, we are not yet seeing that in the data, and while declining somewhat, manufacturing technology orders remain at a historically elevated level.”

Job shops, which typically represent the largest share of orders in a given month, maintained their orders at nearly the same level as January 2023, but their overall activity is down compared to this time last year. Both January and February 2023 data has shown that an increasing share of orders for manufacturing technology goes to OEMs and industry-specific suppliers. Of particular note, the automotive sector, fabricated metal products manufacturers, and railroad, ship, and other transportation manufacturers significantly increased their orders in February 2023.

“In a typical year, we see a dramatic increase in orders between February and March, which exceeds 35% on average,” said Woods. “For most of March, news of Silicon Valley Bank’s failure and fears of tightening credit conditions dominated the economic conversation, which may affect March 2023 order activity. Despite these fears, surveys of manufacturers show a broadly positive outlook for business conditions over the next 12 months.”