Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 10. February 2016

December Machine Tool Orders Highest since March

In December, machine tool orders were 2,542 units and $389,550,000. While the number of units and dollars ordere increased substantially from November, the average price of a machine fell to its second lowest level since October 2009 (the lowest was in October 2015). Generally, trends in price tend to lead trends in order levels.

Any monthly with with more than 2,000 units ordered is a good month, and orders have been above 2,000 units in two of the last three months. However, compared with one yearo ago unit orders were down 6.0 percent. The month-over-month rate of change contracted for the eighth month in a row. The annual rate of change contracted for the third month in a row. The annual rate of change, now -10.6 percent, contracted at an accelerating. This rate of contraction is as expected according to our revised forecast from July 2015.

Real dollar sales were down 22.1 percent compared with December 2014. This was the eighth consecutive month that dollar orders have contracted. The annual rate of change has contracted at an accelerating rate for seven straight months. In December, it was -18.5 percent. So, dollar orders are performing noticeably worse than unit orders.

You can find more on machine tool sales and the leading indicators on our metalworking and monetary pages.

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