Machine Tool Unit Sales Increase at Double Digit Rate
According to the USMTO, machine tool sales in April were 2,125 units and $367,392,000 in real dollars. Unit sales in April were 10.4% higher than they were one year ago. This is the second month-over-month increase in a row and the fifth time in the last seven months that the month-over-month rate of change was positive. After two months of contraction, the annual rate of change has accelerated the last two months. Unit sales are growing at a 2.3% annual rate, which is the fastest rate of growth since January 2013. For the month my unit sales forecast was too 5.9%. Year to date, my unit forecast is too high 3.9%. My forecast calls for the rate of unit sales growth to peak at 7.8% in September and end the year at 1.6%.
Real dollar sales grew 5.8% in April compared to one year ago. This is the second straight month of growth in real dollar sales, and it is the fifth month of growth in the last six months. Annually, real dollar sales are still contracting at a rate of -2.5%. However, the rate of contraction has decelerated for six straight months. The average price of a machine in real dollars was below $200,000 for the second time in 2014. T
The leading indicators for machine tool sales continue to be positive or neutral for future orders. The only indicator that is negative is housing permits. Therefore, the industry should see accelerating growth in machine tool sales for the next couple of quarters.
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