Our Industry At A Glance, September 2003

Sluggish Upturn Seen In Latest Business Trends Report

Do you believe what we have been hearing, that the recession that began in March 2001 ended 8 months later? Well, that is not the case in the manufacturing sector! The official 8-month recession was actually the early part of the much longer recession in manufacturing.

Take a look at the precision machined products industry, and you will see that the recession actually started for many in the latter half of 2000. It continues today for most of those in our industry.

The chart shown is from PMPA’s Index of Sales, comparing quarterly results during the last 3 years.

At this time, we can only say “sluggish upturn” because the average of the first half of 2003 reflects the only positive results within the last 3 years.

Take a look at the chart below of the four regions of the United States to see how your region of the country compares to the others.

On a year-to-date basis, compared to the same period in 2002, the average member’s sales are up 2 percent. But not all are sharing in this modest upturn.

In the June issue of Business Trends Report, we see that only half of the companies have sales higher than those in May. In other words, it is a positive trend, but it is certainly not one shared by all.

For a more detailed reading on the precision machined products industry, PMPA members can view Business Trends Report on the association Web site.