July Survey Shows Metalworking Market Holding On

Optimism remains high in manufacturing even as the general economy cools.

� Most of the general discussions of the economy in the news media lately are recognizing that manufacturing represents a bright spot. Many manufacturing companies have recovered stronger and faster than others in non-manufacturing sectors. For the most part, optimism is strong among manufacturing companies as evidenced by the latest “30-second survey” conducted by Modern Machine Shop.

The survey, conducted every two months, asks a random sample of MMS readers about their outlook on the general economy and their own businesses. Other questions ask about their buying intentions for the coming year.

In the latest survey, 60.1 percent of respondents say they are “somewhat more optimistic” about the general economy. Almost the same percentage (59.8) say they are “somewhat more optimistic” in their feelings about their own business. In fact, when you look at figures for respondents who are “much more optimistic,” it seems that respondents tend to feel better about their business than the general economy. About their business, 22 percent are much more optimistic, compared to 9.1 percent who much more optimistic about the economy in general.

What really counts is that optimism continues to be reflected in the willingness to invest in new machine tools and other capital equipment. Almost a third of respondents say they are very likely to buy equipment in the next 12 months. A little over a third says they are somewhat likely to do the same in the year ahead.

Download July 30-Second Survey


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‘Top Shops’ is a benchmarking and recognition program designed to help shops build their business.

World Machine Tool Survey

An independent annual survey that collects statistics from machine tool consuming and producing countries and compares them in real U.S. dollars.

Capital Spending Survey

An annual survey that collects statistics regarding budgeted spending on machine tools, testing equipment, software and more.

Gardner Business Index

A diffusion index measuring month-to-month changes in activity at durable goods and discrete parts manufacturing facilities.