Reading The Pulse Of The Precision Machined Products Industry, March 2001

While economic conditions for both the U.S. economy and our industry bottomed out in December to one of the lowest levels seen in years, the association looks for little chance of an overall recession in the economy as well as our industry. However, it is now recognized that with manufacturing slumping over the last half of 2000 and into January of this year, it goes without saying that the manufacturing sector of industry is in a recession.


2001 Forecast

Precision Machined Products Association's 2001 forecast for the U.S. economy and for the precision machined products industry is out. While economic conditions for both the U.S. economy and our industry bottomed out in December to one of the lowest levels seen in years, the association looks for little chance of an overall recession in the economy as well as our industry. However, it is now recognized that with manufacturing slumping over the last half of 2000 and into January of this year, it goes without saying that the manufacturing sector of industry is in a recession. While many manufacturing industries are showing softness or little growth, at this time, there are only a few that are truly leading the recession in manufacturing. Because of the diverse customer and industry base served by most of the companies in the precision machined products industry, there seems to be little chance that this industry will fall into a recession, or an extended period of downturn.

With these factors in mind, we see a very unusual period of downturn, outside of the normal cyclical pattern seen in the past. PMPA has taken a hard, long look at the overall economy and the multitude of factors that could affect growth, as well as considered the forecast for some of its major consuming industries. Following last year's 1.8 percent sales increase over 1999, PMPA looks for no growth for this year. Those who are with PMPA member companies are urged to get ahold of a copy of the PMPA 2001 Industry Forecast for greater detail on the economy, as seen by PMPA, and how it may impact not only the industries you serve and the company you work for, but even your job.

It is also interesting to follow how this industry is doing in the four major regions of the country. Again, PMPA members can track this by looking at the chart contained in the Business Trends Report covering the third month of each quarter. Based on PMPA's monthly "Index of Sales," it is interesting to note that throughout the year the four regions reflect varied levels of sales based on regional economic conditions. However, all ended the year at relatively the same low level.