Posted April 15, 2020

February cutting tool orders down 4.2 percent

February 2020 U.S. cutting tool consumption totaled $188.2 million, down 4.2 percent from January's $196.5 million and down 8.5 percent compared with the $205.6 million reported for February 2019.

February 2020
The graph above includes the 12-month moving average for the durable goods shipments (red) and cutting tool orders (blue). These values are calculated by taking the average of the most recent 12 months and plotting them over time.

With a year-to-date total of $384.7 million, 2020 is down 8.5 percent compared with 2019, according to the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology..

“The most recently released February cutting tool statistics reflect the modest slowing we began to see in the latter part of 2019. But these numbers precede the effects of the COVID-19 fallout. I suspect we have all experienced a much steeper drop over the past several weeks. Buckle your seat belts,” said Bret Tayne, president of USCTI.

“Following a year of consolidation in 2019, cutting tool shipments are set to face a challenging 2020. The 8.5% year-over-year decline in cutting tool shipments in February is slightly worse than the 2.4% year-over-year drop in total durable goods shipments. With the economy facing a coronavirus-induced recession, the outlook through the summer will be challenging. A stronger dollar, reduced international demand and higher corporate spreads will likely add to the sectoral headwinds. However, a gradual relaxation of lockdown measures in the latter part of 2020, along with unprecedented fiscal and monetary policy stimulus should help progressively support activity in 2021,” said Greg Daco, chief U.S. economist for Oxford Economics USA.