Gardner Intelligence Blog

During the week of March 23rd, Gardner Intelligence conducted its fourth short survey to gauge the effects of COVID-19 on discrete parts manufacturers across all the industries that Gardner Business Media covers. The survey asked two basic questions:

For each of those questions, respondents were asked to compare the current state of their business to the norm prior to COVID-19 and rank the severity of the change or adjustment from minimal to moderate to major.

Housing Permits Grow Faster than 12% for Third month

There were 100,800 housing permits filed in February 2020. Permits filed in February were up 12.4% compared with one year ago, which was the fifth time in six months that permits grew faster than 12%. February was the eighth consecutive month of growth in housing permits.

In February, the annual rate of growth accelerated to 5.7%, which made it the sixth-straight month of accelerating growth. This was the fastest rate of annual growth since July 2018. The annual rate of growth will likely continue to accelerate for a couple of more months before it is significantly affected by COVID-19. 

January Cutting Tool Orders Second Most Since August

In January 2020, real cutting tool orders were $196.5 million,  which was the second highest total since August 2019. Compared with one year ago, cutting tool orders contracted -9.8%, which marked the 11th consecutive month of month-over-month contraction. The annual rate of change contracted at an accelerating rate for the fourth month. The annual rate of contraction was 5.2%, which was the fastest rate of contraction since December 2016.

The GBI: Metalworking is a good leading indicator of cutting tool orders and leads cutting tool orders by seven-to-10 months. The annual rate of change in the Index has contracted for 12 straight months, clearly indicating that the annual rate of contraction in cutting tool orders will continue to accelerate. However, the GBI rate of change does appear to be in the initial stages of a turn. If it bottoms in the first quarter of 2020, then it would be expected that the rate of change in cutting tool orders would bottom around the summer of 2020.

In February, the monetary base was $3.455 trillion, which was its highest level since November 2018. This was the third month in a row of month-over-month accelerating growth, which is a positive sign for capital equipment consumption. February’s 3.0% rate of growth was the fastest since January 2018.

The annual rate of contraction in the money supply, -6.8%, decelerated for fourth month in a row, which also is positive sign for capital equipment consumption. This was the slowest rate of annual contraction since January 2019. A decelerating contraction in the annual rate of change in the money supply tends to lead to a decelerating contraction in capital equipment spending.

During the week of March 16th, Gardner Intelligence conducted for the third time a short survey to gauge the effects of COVID-19 on discrete parts manufacturers across all the industries that Gardner Business Media covers. The survey asked two basic questions:

For each of those questions, respondents were asked to compare the current state of their business to the norm prior to COVID-19 and rank the severity of the change or adjustment from minimal to moderate to major.

Reports

Top Shops

‘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.