Economic News Blog
Posted by: Steven Kline, Jr. 5. September 2013

2014 Capital Spending Survey Forecasts 20% Increase in Machine Tool Sales

Our 2014 Metalworking Capital Spending Survey is complete and I have started pouring through the data. While I'm just starting my analysis, I wanted to share a few high level tidbits. There is plenty of good news to share across industries and equipment types that we reveal over the next couple of months.

1. Spending is forecast to increase 20% in 2014. Based on the responses, we are forecasting $7.442 billion in new machine tool sales in 2014. Our forecast for 2013, which was $6.263 billion, still looks to be about right based on USMTO data. I’m somewhat surprised that it is this high and expect it to come in around $6.5 billion for 2014, but this is what the industry is saying they plan to do.

2. Turning centers are forecasted to increase nearly 70% to $1.3 billion. Small horizontal turning centers will nearly double while the large turning centers will increase about 40%. Vertical turning centers also will increase by nearly 100%, but the market size for vertical turning centers is only 10% of the market size for horizontal turning centers.

3. Metalcutting job shops will spend $2.573 billion, up 36%. This is even more than what we estimated job shops spent in 2008. That is more than 33% of all spending on machine tools. Also, job shops are three times the next largest industry, which is machinery and equipment manufacturing. 

4. Facilities with more than 250 employees will more than double their spending to $2.516 billion. This segment was virtually the smallest in 2013 but will be almost double any other plant size category in 2014. This jives with our business index data, which shows that large shops have had much better business conditions than other shops throughout 2013. It’s so nice when our data tells a consistent story.

5. The East North Central will spend $2.883 billion, up 65%. This region is three times larger than the next largest (West South Central). This means IMTS will be even more important than normal for the suppliers to metalworking facilities.

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