Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 15. March 2017

Machine Tool Unit Orders Grow for Third Month

In January, machine tool orders were 1,534 units and $244,771,000.

Compared with one year ago, unit orders in January were up 3.3 percent. This was the third straight month of growth and the fifth in the last six months. The year-over-year is moving in a positive direction, contracting at its slowest rate since August 2015. 

While unit orders were up slightly, real dollar orders were down 9.3 percent compared with one year ago. Even the lowest average price per machine since December 2015 did not boost dollar orders this month. But, the annual rate of change continued to contract at a decelerating rate for the sixth month in a row. January had the slowest rate of annual contraction since June 2015.

While the totals are still low, the South Central has improved dramatically the last three months. January unit orders were up 71 percent compared with one year ago. And, the last three months each have increased by more than 37 percent. Annual unit orders in the region are gowing for the first time since February 2015.

In percent terms, the Southeast has been the strongest region for quite some time. But, in January it was one of the weakest. Units oders were down 25 percent compared with one year ago. That was the fourth straight month of contraction.

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