U.S. machine shops and other manufacturers ordered $491.89 million worth of new machine tools and related technology during December 2013, giving 2013 a strong ending.  December’s new orders brought the 2013 total for orders to $4.94 billion, a decline of 5.1% over the 2012 total, which is in line with the range of comparative results throughout 2013.

The figures are contained in the final U.S. Machine Tool Orders report for 2013. AMT – The Association for Manufacturing Technology compiles the monthly report based on actual data for metal cutting equipment and metal forming and fabricating equipment, as reported by participating companies. 

“With a strong finish to 2013 for manufacturing technology orders, plus strong reports for durable goods, capacity utilization, and PMI, there is plenty of favorable momentum for the industry going into 2014,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods.

Woods’ comments suggested a possibility of strong end-of-year purchasing decisions by manufacturers aiming to fit new equipment into capital-spending programs for the past year. “The average age of corporate fixed assets is at almost 22 years, and interest rates are historically low,” he continued. “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.”

The data for December improved on the November results by 9.9%, and also represented a rise of 11.8% over the December 2012 total.