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Machine Tool Sales Still Growing Faster

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According to USMTC, machine tool sales in May 2011 were 75.6 percent (units) and 110.6 percent (real dollars) more than in May 2010. Both of these rates of change indicated faster growth than last month. Also, the annual rate of change continued to show accelerating growth, moving to 82.9 percent from 80.8 percent. While May 2010 was a weak month for machine tool sales, May 2011’s total of 2,016 units sold was the third highest since September 2008. Three out of the last seven months have seen unit totals above 2,000 machines sold.
 

All of this indicates a very strong machine tool market. However, we should expect that what is probably the fastest growth ever in machine tool sales will start to see slower growth soon. Consumer durable goods industrial production has seen its annual rate of change indicate slower growth each month since December 2010. Typically, industrial production leads machine tool sales by 12-18 months, but in the last several years the relationship appears to be a little tighter.