5/11/2020 | 1 MINUTE READ

Lowest March Machine Tool Orders Since 2010

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Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GBI: Metalworking dropped sharply in March and April. This drop caused the GBI: Metalworking annual rate of contraction to accelerate once again. This will likely lead to an acceleration in the contraction of machine tool orders in March and April. 

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March machine tool orders were 1,627 units and $298,584,000.

March’s unit orders were the lowest total for March since 2010. Orders for the month contracted 32.5% compared with a year ago. This was the ninth month in a row of contraction and the seventh in the last eight with a rate of contraction faster than 20%. The annual rate of contraction accelerated for the third month in a row to -17.5%. This was the fastest rate of annual contraction since May 2010.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GBI: Metalworking dropped sharply in March and April. This drop caused the GBI: Metalworking annual rate of contraction to accelerate once again. This will likely lead to an acceleration in the contraction of machine tool orders in March and April. 

Dollar orders contracted 29.4% compared with one year ago. This was the 14th straight month of dollar order contraction and the 15th in the last 16 months. March was the ninth month in a row of accelerating contraction in the annual rate of change in dollar orders as the rate of contraction fell to -22.4% from -21.5%.

The accelerating annual contraction in machine tool units and dollars was expected as the GBI: Metalworking annual rate of contraction had just started to bottom at the beginning of 2020. The Index tends to lead machine tool orders by about seven months. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the GBI: Metalworking dropped sharply in March and April. This drop caused the GBI: Metalworking annual rate of contraction to accelerate once again. This will likely lead to an acceleration in the contraction of machine tool orders in March and April. 

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