Manufacturing technology orders see drop in sales

Manufacturing technology orders continued its downward trend this year, as revenue dropped 8.1 percent in April, the Association for Manufacturing Technology reported June 8. The industry brought in $384.8 million for the month, compared to $418.7 million in March.

For the year 2015, the AMT reports the industry is down 8.5 percent compared to sales over the same time period in 2014.

AMT president Douglas Woods said he is confident the struggles now will turn around and become benefits later on.

"Right now capital equipment makers are feeling the effects of a stronger dollar, which creates a drag on exports, and lower oil and natural gas prices, which means less spending on equipment investments from the energy industry," Woods said in the association's monthly data report. "But what is a negative now should help us later – imported components for capital equipment are costing less, and businesses will accumulate savings from lower fuel prices in the coming months, meaning more money for capital investment."

The AMT also released information on how specific parts of the country are doing, breaking up the continental 48 states into six different regions. The South Central region of the country – which includes Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico – has been hit the hardest. Total revenue from that area has decreased 47.9 percent, from $238.72 million in 2014 to $124.44 million this year. 

Metal cutting has been the main source of decline for the region, dropping from $61.1 million in revenue from that industry in April 2014 to only $38.3 million in April 2015. 

Despite the setbacks in sales, manufacturing recruiters have yet to be impacted. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, nearly 12.3 million Americans held manufacturing jobs in April, showing a slight rise in employment since the start of the year.