St. Paul, MN (February 5, 2021) –Metalworking reached a 53.6 reading for December 2020, closing the year with a nearly two-year growth high, according to Steve Kline, Chief Data Officer for Gardner Business Index (GBI).

All six components of the Index moved higher in absolute terms from the prior month, says Kline. Rising readings for production and new orders – which were already above a reading of 50 in November – indicated a further expansion in business activity during December. Employment and backlog activity readings rose above 50, indicating a transition from contracting activity to expanding activity in December. The reading for export activity, while higher from November, remained below 50, indicating a slowing contraction in activity.

A preponderance of respondents to the Metalworking Index indicated lengthening delivery times for production inputs, according to Kline. Slowing delivery times can limit production capacity and by extension heighten backlog levels.

The Index’s December supplier deliveries reading set a new all-time high, that Kline says indicates that a large majority of metalworking shops experienced lengthening order-to-fulfillment times. This was not entirely unexpected given that the seasonal surge of holiday e-commerce orders and early distribution of COVID-19 vaccines put an unprecedented strain on the country’s transportation networks. Manufacturers will need to continue reinforcing their supply chains to remain competitive and productive in 2021.

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Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Matsuura, an innovator in the design, development and manufacture of high-precision manufacturing solutions for more than 80 years, has been the forerunner in designing pioneering technology and manufacturing solutions to a variety of industries around the globe. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. delivers unmatched excellence in 5-axis, vertical, horizontal, linear motor, multi-tasking CNC machine tools and machines with a powder bed metal AM platform with machining capability. Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc. provides the service, applications and technical field support that have always been the Matsuura standard for business.

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