First, the bad news …

We posted last week about the soft sales of U.S. machine tool orders in July. Sales dropped 23.6 % from the previous month and lagged for the second straight month of 2013.

Now, the good news ….

European Tool & Mold Making (ETMM) reports on the Metalworking Capital Spending Survey by Gardner Research that cites “US metalworking facilities will spend $7.4 billion on new metalcutting equipment in 2014, an increase of almost 19% compared to the latest estimate for 2013 machine tool sales.”

Editor Eric Culp of ETMM writes:

Much of the expected rise is due to the increased spending plans of metalcutting job shops in the US. In addition, outlays at industrial mould makers are expected to double. The forecast calls for job shops to spend $2.6 billion on machine tools in 2014, 36% more than compared to 2013 and the most money used to purchase machine tools by job shops since at least 2008. In 2014, job shops should represent almost 35% of all US spending on machine tools.

Job shops are separated into three categories in the United States – general machine shops and turned-product manufacturers, industrial mould manufacturers and special die and tool manufacturers. All three of these groups are forecast to raise spending in 2014, an economic indicator that the US machine tool market is on the mend.

General machine shops are the largest of these three groups of US job shops and will spend an estimated 1.8 billion on machine tools, amounting to a 17% increase. Special die and tool manufacturers are forecast, according to ETMM’s Culp, to “spend $266 million, which is an increase of more than 55%.”

It’s a good time to be selling to industrial mould manufacturers who will spend $594 million on machine tools in 2014, nearly ten times the average level of spending by these companies from 2008 to 2012.

What’s the bottom line for the US machine tool market? Sales, specifically metalcutting equipment, may be down but not for long. 2014 here we come!

If you are interested in new LeBlond or K.O. Lee machines or require original OEM parts for your LeBlond, K.O. Lee, Standard Modern, Johnson Press, Deka Drill and W.F. & John Barnes equipment, call LeBlond Ltd. at (888) 532-5663.