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Manufacturing Technology Orders Down Y/Y; COVID-19 Upends Industry

April 17, 2020, 07:00 AM
Filed Under: Manufacturing

U.S. manufacturing technology orders increased 3 percent in February from the previous month to $277.9 million, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders report published by AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology. New orders were 16.5 percent lower than in February 2019. Total orders through February 2020 are $547 million, 26.2 percent lower than YTD 2019 orders.

“Before the pandemic hit, we had predicted lower manufacturing technology orders in the first half of the year with a pickup in the second half,” said Douglas K. Woods, President of AMT. “Clearly the downturn will be much more severe than could have been anticipated. While we still expect a rebound later this year, this recovery is likely to take an extended period of time to get to pre-crisis levels as the global economy, the U.S. economy, and the manufacturing industry slowly regain their momentum.”

“While all industries are being affected, and some more than others, with cancellations of orders or postponement of expected orders, due to long lead times of some industrial equipment and urgent retooling to meet crisis-related production some pockets of investment are continuing. As we progress out of this crisis the manufacturing technology industry will be critical in scaling up the products and equipment our economy needs going forward such as air filtration equipment, laboratory and medical equipment, automation, pharmaceuticals, PPE, defense and other products. These opportunities will create momentum in the manufacturing technology industry well into 2021 and beyond supplying both domestic and global needs.” 

“The pandemic has clearly exposed the risks of excessive reliance on non-diversified, global supply chains to produce the necessary products and equipment in a time of crisis—be it an outbreak of a disease, an economic crisis, or a large military conflict. Centralized supply chains in foreign countries have proved to be detrimental to the ability of the U.S. to effectively react to a global crisis. Revitalizing America’s manufacturing sector would provide the U.S. with “self-manufacturing-sufficient” supply chains to support our industrial base in a crisis.”

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