U.S. manufacturers consumed $176.04 million worth of cutting tools during December 2016, 4.4% more than the November total, and 12.5% more than the December 2015 total. It was the first increase in the monthly consumption total since June 2016, and brought the total annual U.S. consumption of cutting tools to $2.042 billion, 4.3% lower than the 12-month total for 2015.

Cutting tools are a primary consumable for machine shops and other manufacturing operations, and the consumption of those products serves as an index to their production volumes, comparable to manufacturers’ durable goods shipments.

Cutting tool consumption data is contained in the Cutting Tool Market Report published monthly by AMT - the Assn. for Manufacturing Technology and the U.S. Cutting Tool Institute to track current activity by machine shops and comparable manufacturing businesses. CTMR results represent actual dollar figures reported by participating companies, who represent the majority of the U.S. market for cutting tools.

The CTMR is distinct from AMT’s monthly U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report, also released recently and also indicating a rise in demand during December. However, the USMTO measures future activity as reflected by demand for new production capability;.

“The cutting tool market data continues to show signs of strengthening,” according to Steve Stokey, president of USCTI. “There is a great deal of positive chatter in most manufacturing sectors that would indicate there are high expectations for 2017. This should drive higher demand for cutting tools.”