According to USMTO, machine tool orders in May 2012 were 2,075 units and $408,053,000. This is second highest monthly unit sales in 2012, behind March. And, monthly unit sales have been above 2,000 units in 11 of the last 15 months. After contracting in March, unit sales have grown the last two months compared to the same month one year ago. However, the one-month rate of growth is much slower than it was in 2010 and 2011. The annual rate of change continues to grow but at a slower rate each month.
Two of the most important leading indicators for machine tool sales are exchange rates and industrial production. Against all currencies the one-month rate of change on the dollar has grown faster each of the last four months. This is the fastest rate of growth since July 2009. Also, the annual rate of change is growing for the first time since March 2010. When the dollar switches from contracting to growing against other world currencies, machine tool sales have begun contracting within the next two years. This is a limited data set though, as it has only happened four times in the last 40 years. However, the trend in industrial production is pointing to stronger machine tool sales in the future. The one-month rate of change has been above 11% four of the last five months. And, the annual rate of change has grown faster each of the last seven months. This is the strongest rate of growth since April 2011.
For more information on machine tool sales and leading indicators, go here.
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