Cutting Tool Orders Below $190 Million for Four of Five Months

In March 2020, real cutting tool orders were $189.8 million, which was the fourth time in five months that orders were below $190 million. Compared with one year ago, cutting tool orders contracted -10.8%, which marked the 13th consecutive month of month-over-month contraction. In four of the last five months, orders have contracted faster than 9.5%. The annual rate of change contracted at an accelerating rate for the sixth month. The annual rate of contraction was 7.0%, which was the fastest rate of contraction since October 2016.

The GBI: Metalworking is a good leading indicator of cutting tool orders and leads cutting tool orders by seven to 10 months. The annual rate of change in the Index has contracted for 14 straight months, clearly indicating that the annual rate of contraction in cutting tool orders will continue to accelerate. Due to the effects of the coronavirus, the GBI annual rate of contraction accelerated since March. A bottom in the annual contraction of cutting tool orders cannot be expected until seven to 10 months after a bottom in the GBI annual rate of change.

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