The Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT) reported that new orders of manufacturing technology totaled $355.6 million in January 2023. The number is down 17% from December 2022 and down 20% from January 2022.
“January orders are down, but the decline is consistent with expectations,” said Douglas K. Woods, president of AMT. “Although down, it is worth noting that orders in January 2023 are nearly 17% above what would be expected from a typical January. After the historic run of orders placed in the last two years, a mild slowdown in new orders could help to reduce the current backlog and put the manufacturing technology industry in a position to deliver machinery with much shorter lead times when economic activity is anticipated to pick up later in the year.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, new orders of metalworking machinery exceeded shipments by over $750 million between January 2021 and now.
“Despite the mild pullback, distributors with machinery in stock or builders with shorter lead times still have several opportunities,” Woods said.
AMT highlighted two areas that are likely to drive growth in the next year:
- Popular technologies have shifted slightly, including a significant increase in orders for machining centers with simultaneous 5-axis capability. That results in a need for capacity to produce more complex parts domestically.
- The construction and mining machinery manufacturing sectors are likely to be areas of interest in 2023 due to new pipeline infrastructure coming online in the Permian Basin. The U.S. Department of Energy has also announced plans to support the development of domestic sources of lithium, creating another opportunity for mining and construction.