Machine tool orders in the United States dropped precipitously for the second straight month in July, down 23.6% from June and amounting to an identical 23.6% total year decline from 2012, according to Industry Week (IW). U.S. Manufacturers ordered $351.21 million in machine tools and related equipment during July 2013.

The loss was felt most heavily in orders for metal forming and fabricating equipment that fell 82.5% from June totals. The metal cutting sector fared better, down 15.3% from the previous month.

The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) compiled the data found in the United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) that assesses total production and distribution of machine tools and related technology nationally and regionally.

Douglas K. Woods, AMT President, put a brave face on the disappointing numbers as quoted in Robert Brooks’ IW article:

This muted order activity is not atypical for summer months, and is concurrent with other monthly readings that indicated a drop in durable goods orders and a flat industrial production index. Despite this seasonal dip, however, the bigger picture for manufacturing remains positive. It’s important to note that in regional USMTO activity, the Northeast and West regions are at their highest average and year-to-date values in 15 years, thanks to the precision parts and aerospace industries. Meanwhile, the PMI (the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index) posted its third consecutive monthly gain. We anticipate a continued pattern of modest but sustained growth through the end of 2013.

IW’s Brooks points out that the regional gains noted by AMT’s Woods were “modest.” In the Northeast, July orders rose 4.5% to $73.72 million, from $70.56 million in June. The Northeast scored a 9.7% gain from the July 2012 figures ($67.18 million) and is the only region of six in the U.S. to post improvements over comparable results.

“The year-to-date total for the Northeast is up 3.6% to $482.22 million versus $465.57 million recorded from January through July 2012,” writes Brooks.

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.