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Precision Machining Index Sets Consecutive All-Time High Readings

Throughout 2021, new orders activity has outpaced production, resulting in quickly rising backlog levels and a new all-time high reading, besting 2018’s record.
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The Gardner Business Intelligence (GBI): Precision Machining Index climbed higher in April to 64.3 after having just posted a record high in March (See last month’s reading). Leading the index higher was supplier delivery activity, a measure which moves higher as order-to-fulfillment times lengthen. Further supporting the Index’s move higher were new orders, production and backlog activity. 

 

 

The Precision Machining Index rose above the all-time high set in the prior month with a 64.3 reading. The latest data reported several record high or multiyear high readings for most of the business activity measures tracked by Gardner’s survey.

The Precision Machining Index rose above the all-time high set in the prior month with a 64.3 reading. The latest data reported several record high or multiyear high readings for most of the business activity measures tracked by Gardner’s survey.

 

Throughout 2021, new orders activity has outpaced production, resulting in quickly rising backlog levels and a new all-time high reading, besting 2018’s record. A portion of the recent strength in new orders has come from foreign orders. Export readings during March and April both exceeded the prior all-time high recorded in 2018. April’s employment data marked the fifth consecutive month of expanding hiring activity, including a 3-year high.Despite the industry’s best efforts, production has been unable to keep pace with surging domestic and foreign new orders. This has sent backlog readings to levels not experienced since at least 2011.

Despite the industry’s best efforts, production has been unable to keep pace with surging domestic and foreign new orders. This has sent backlog readings to levels not experienced since at least 2011.


Surging activity levels across so many facets of the Precision Machining Index point to an industry that can scarcely catch its breath. April’s expected capital spending data as reported by surveyed precision machining companies suggest the industry will spend around 15% more in equipment compared to the start of the year and nearly 20% more compared to pre-pandemic levels.

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