Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 10. December 2013

Machine Tool Sales Up 9.5% in October 2013

According to USMTO, machine tool sales in October were 2,553 units and $418,095,000 in real dollars. That is the most units sold in a month since September 2012 and the most units sold in a non-IMTS month since September 2011. Unit sales in October 2013 were 9.5% higher than they were in October 2012. This was the fastest rate of month-over-month growth in unit sales since April 2012. The annual rate of change dipped into contraction last month, but in October the rate of contraction slowed down.

However, the same positives cannot be said for dollar sales. Real dollar sales contracted 3.8% compared to last October. While the month-over-month rate of contraction slowed significantly compared to last three months, this is the seventh consecutive month of contraction in real dollar sales. The annual rate of change has contracted faster each of the last seven months. 

With unit sales performing better than dollar sales, the average price of machine continues to fall. In October 2013, the average price of a machine was $164,000, which was the lowest price since November 2012 and the second lowest price since May 2010. The average price has contracted at double digit rates three of the last four months. Annually, the average price has contracted faster each of the last six months.

My revised forecast was much too low, missing by 19.7%. My original forecast was for machine tool sales to pick up in the second half of the year. Perhaps that is starting to happen as my revised forecast was too low by 9.9%. For the year, my original forecast is too high by 8.3%.

Many of the leading indicators for machine tool sales are pointing towards stronger sales in 2014. You can find more on machine tool sales and the leading indicators on our metalworking page.

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