Manufacturing technology order finish 2013 strong

Orders for manufacturing technology goods finished 2013 strong, according to a new report from The Association of Manufacturing Technology (AMT). The Virginia-based trade association said orders for December 2013 reached $491.8 million, which is a 9.9 percent increase from November 2013.

AMT said in a statement the data in the report was collected from companies who are part of the U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) program. AMT President Douglas Woods said the improvement in orders at the end of 2013 is a good sign of things to come.

"With a strong finish to 2013 for manufacturing technology orders, plus strong reports for durable goods, capacity utilization, and PMI [purchasing managers index], there is plenty of favorable momentum for the industry going into 2014," Woods said.

Although overall technology orders for 2013, which include tools for manufacturing machinery, actually dropped 5.1 percent compared to 2012, orders in December 2013 improved by 11.8 percent from December 2012, when sales totaled $439.9 million.

Several regions across the country actually saw gains during December. The North Central-East region improved 11.3 percent from November's numbers and increased by 37.8 percent from December 2012. Out in the West, orders in December 2013 were up 6.6 percent from a year prior to a total $718.37 million. Woods went on to say economic improvements should help contribute to continued growth in 2014.

"The average age of corporate fixed assets is at almost 22 years, and interest rates are historically low," Woods said. "This one-two punch is creating a ripe atmosphere for investment in capital equipment, which we anticipate will translate into more great news for manufacturing growth."

Companies in the manufacturing industry who are expecting growth for their businesses can call upon manufacturing recruiters to help them hire skilled workers to help with demand for orders.