Cutting Tool Orders Increase in March at Fastest Rate of 2015
Real cutting tool orders were $197.6 million in March 2015. This was the highest level for orders in a month since and AMT and USCTI began publshing cutting tool order data in January 2012. Compared with March 2014, real orders were up 3.2%. This was the fourth straight month of month-over-month growth. Also, it was the sixth time in seven months that orders have grown. The annual rate of change has been positive for five months. And, for the last four months the annual rate of growth has been very close to 2.7%.
For March my forecast was too low by 6.4%. Year to date my forecast was too low by 8.9%. Much of this error was because I based my forecast for 2015 off of the original data for 2014. It appears that the 2014 data is being revised higher as the 2015 data is released. This could be because more companies are reporting order data, but I'm unsure about this. My 2015 forecast is calling for cutting tool orders to increase 3.8%.
While there is not much history to work from with this report, there are a number of potential leading indicators for this data series, including durable goods production, capital goods new orders, and the Gardner Business Index. Based on the limited time frame, the metalworking portion of the Gardner Business Index has potential to be a good leading indicator for cutting tool orders.
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