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U.S. machine-tool orders lag in October.

October new orders for domestic and imported machine tools by American customers dipped 27% from the previous month to $157.6-million. Compared to October a year ago, the current U.S. Machine Tool Consumption survey statistics were down 9%.

Year-to-date, 2003 is still 13% behind 2002.

The good news is that the gap is narrowing.

John B. Byrd III, new president of AMT, one of the two organizations that compile the monthly statistics, notes that the improvement in U.S. manufacturing activity is having an uneven affect on machine-tool orders. "In the western region monthly order rates outperformed 2002 for the past four months, while the northeast and southern regions have had irregular gains," he says. Byrd adds that signs are there that the five-year slide is coming to an end.

Regional information on October orders is shown in the map. Year-to-date, the Northeast is running 23% behind 2002, the southern region is up by 8%, the Midwest is 11% behind, and the central and western regions are 25% and 22% behind.

AMT--The Assn. for Mfg. Technology, McLean, Va. 703-893-2900.

Amer. Machine Tool Distributors' Assn., Rockville, Md. 301-738-1200.
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Publication:Metalworking Insiders' Report
Date:Dec 20, 2003
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