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Machine Tool Sales Remain Strong

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According to USMTC, machine tool sales in April were 56.2 percent (units) and 70.9 percent (real dollars) more than in April 2010. While the one-month rate of change for units was the lowest since July 2010, the rate of growth is still really strong. Actual units sold in March were 1,955, which is the third highest total since September 2008. Real dollar sales were the fourth highest since September 2008. The annual rates of change for both units and dollars fell slightly for the first time since this expansion began. However, another solid month of sales is likely to send the annual rates of change higher again. The rate of growth in consumer durable goods industrial production, a good leading indicator for machine tool sales, has slowed the last several months. While the growth rate in machine tool sales may not have peaked yet, the leading indicator is showing that the growth rate of machine tool sales should peak this summer.