St. Paul, MN (February 13, 2020) — Machine unit orders contracted just 1.2% in December after four consecutive months of contracting more than 23%. According to Gardner Business Media, December machine tool orders were 2,253 units and $397,555,000.

December’s unit orders were the highest since March 2019. In addition, unit orders going back to December 2018 were revised upward a significant amount. This revision occurred mostly in the West and the month of August in the Southeast.

December orders for the month contracted 1.2% compared with year ago. This was the sixth month in a row of contraction and the seventh in the last eight. However, December’s rate of contraction was much slower than the previous four months, which all contracted more than 23%. The annual rate of contraction decelerated to -11.0% from -12.6% this month.

Dollar orders contracted 9.6% compared with one year ago. This was 11th-straight month of dollar order contraction and the 12th in the last 13 months. Like unit orders, dollar-order contraction was significantly slower in December than the previous four months, each of which contracted more than 20%. Unlike unit orders, the annual rate of dollar contraction continued to accelerate, reaching -18.1% in December. December was the seventh month in a row of accelerating contraction in dollar orders.

Nationally and in all six regions, unit orders contracted less than dollar orders in December, Steven Kline, Jr., Chief Data Officer, explained.

While the GBI: Metalworking has been a negative leading indicator for future machine tool orders for a number of months, the Index is starting to turn. First, the Index was 50.2 in January 2020, which was the first month of growth and the highest level for the Index since June 2019. Second, the month-over-month rate of change in the Index has contracted slower for three months, meaning the annual rate of contraction is very close to a bottom. Third, the month-over-month rate of change in the backlog index contracted at a generally decelerating rate for the fifth month, leading the annual rate of contraction in backlogs to contract at a slower rate for the first time since it began contracting in March 2019.

Other positive signs for machine tool orders include the monetary base contracting at a decelerating rate, decelerating growth in the exchange rate for 4-7 months (depending on the rate used), and a generally lower interest rate.

More from Steven Kline, Jr., Chief Data Officer, Gardner Business Media, please visit:

Matsuura Machinery USA, Inc., located in St. Paul, MN is the U.S. subsidiary of Matsuura Machinery Corporation in Japan. Since 1935, Matsuura has been the forerunner in designing innovative 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.

For more information about Matsuura, please contact: [email protected].