Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 14. December 2015

Machine Tool Orders Top 2,000 Units

In October, machine tool sales were 2,111 units and $317,160,000. Unit sales were stronger than dollar sales. And, the regions had significantly different outcomes this month.

This was the first time orders topped 2,000 units since April and just the third time in 2,000. Any time more than 2,000 units are sold it is a good month as the average number of unit orders in the history of USMTO is 1,883. However, compared with one year ago, unit orders were down 11.1 percent. That is the sixth month in a row that unit orders have contracted month-over-month. Therefore, the annual rate of change continued to contract at an accelerating rate and not sits at -9.8 percent. This is as expected based on Gardner's forecast from earlier this fall.

Real dollar sales were almost 7 percent below the historical average since USMTO began. The last four months have seen real dollar sales significantly below the levels of March 2011 to June 2015. Compared with one year ago, real dollar sales were down 28.7 percent. The annual rate of change continued to contract at an accelerating rate and not sits at -16.0 percent.

With unit sales being so much better than dollar sales, the average price of a machine ordered in October was just $150,000. That was about 16 percent below the historical average price of a machine, according to USMTO.

The West region actually recorded an increase in average price compared with one year ago.

The South Central had its best month since July but was still contracting at very significant rates compared with one year ago.

The North Central-West typically sells a machine for a slightly higher price than the national average. But, this price its average price was just $134,100, which was well below the national average. 

The North Central-East saw unit orders increase 1.5 percent compared with last October. While dollar sales were down from one year ago, they were down less than the national average. 

The Southeast sold more units in October than any other month in 2015, and the number of units sold was 67 percent above average. But, the average price was just $108,700, which was well below the historical average of $166,000.

In the Northeast, unit sales were still growing in October on an annual basis. However, the annual rate of change in dollar sales contracted for the second month in a row.

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

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