U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers’ consumption of cutting tools fell 11.7% from November to December, totaling $138 million for the month. The total was 3.9% less than the December 2012 value.

The December result was the second-consecutive monthly drop, and brought the year-end total value for cutting tools consumption to $2.03 billion, down 3.9% from the 2012 consumption total.

The monthly Cutting Tool Market Report is compiled jointly and issued by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute and AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology. The data is based on actual totals reported by the companies participating in the CMTR program.

The 2013 results bear some similarity to the U.S. Machine Tool Orders report issued each month by AMT. In that program, the December results were quite strong, but the full-year figures showed a 5.1% decline from 2012 machine tool ordes.

“Clearly the numbers are indicative of an economy that has been struggling throughout the year,” allowed USCTI president Tom Haag, concerning cutting tool consumption. “December was further inhibited by the holidays in mid-week, creating a very short month in terms of business days.

“Forecasts for 2014 indicate growth for the industry, which we anticipate with confidence,”  Haag added.