Underwhelming and underperforming, but we did eke out almost a percent of growth last year.
PMPA’s Index of Sales of Precision Machined Products finished at 121 for the year, virtually the same as last year’s 120, under- performing the sluggish growth of manufacturing sector (2%) the year. The Index of Sales for the month of December 2015 was 104, identical to December 2014, and the third time ever for December to close above 100. According to our respondents, sales for the year were up just 0.8% compared to 2014.
Sentiments for the next three months were positive
- Sales: Seventy-five point five percent 75.5% of our respondents expecting sales for next three months to grow or remain the same for Q1 2015.
- Lead times: Eighty-seven percent (87%) expecting lead times to remain the same or increase is a positive indication for our shops for Q1 2016.
- Employment: Prospects for employment over the next three months remain positive with 84% of respondents reporting that prospects for employment would remain the same or improve.
- Profitability: Sentiment for the next three months was 79% positive (57% same and 22% up) – and 21% of respondents expecting profitability to decline.
Calendar year 2015 was underwhelming yet we managed to earn just under a percent (0.9%) of growth. With over 75% of respondents sharing positive (same or improved) expectations for Net Sales, Lead Times, Employment, and Profitability for the first quarter of 2016, we are in a good place to begin the new year. Positive indicators for growth in Automotive, Aerospace, Housing, and Medical Device Industry point to the first quarter of 2016 being a busy one for precision machining.