Domestic manufacturers’ consumption of cutting tools totaled $181.9 million during January, slipping 1.7% from the December value, but rising 1.9% from the January 2014 result. The figures are reported by the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute (USCTI) and AMT – the Association for Manufacturing Technology, which collaborate to issue the Cutting Tool Market Report on a monthly basis.

The CTMR is based on actual figures reported by cutting tool manufacturers and distributors participating in the program, who represent about 80% of the U.S. market for cutting tools. The reports’ sponsors note that cutting tools are high-value, high-volume consumable products, the consumption of which parallels manufacturing activity in the wider economy.

In contrast to AMT’s monthly U.S. Machine Tool Orders report, which tracks capital investment activity, the CTMR is a measure of actual manufacturing activity.

As such, the recently reported decline in new machine tool orders is not replicated in the CTMR results.

“The industrial production index for manufacturing typically leads cutting tool production by one or two months. January’s 1.7% decrease in shipments mirrors December’s decline in industrial production,” observed Pat McGibbon, vice president of AMT’s Strategic Analytics department. “The short-lived fall reflected by January’s increase in industrial production leaves us optimistic to see positive cutting tool shipment growth in February and March.”