U.S. manufacturers ordered $351.21 million in machine tools and related equipment (“manufacturing technology”) during July, a 23.6% monthly decline from June, as well as a 23.6% year-on-year decline. It was the second consecutive monthly decline in new orders, and brings the total value of 2013 manufacturing technology orders to $2.925 billion, a decline of 7.2% compared to the seven-month total for 2012.

The decline was more decisive for orders of metal forming and fabricating equipment, which fell 82.5% from the June result. Orders for metal cutting equipment, which comprise a much larger component of the results as a whole, fell 15.3% from the previous month.

The data is included in the monthly United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report, compiled by AMT - The Association for Manufacturing Technology, and representing total production and distribution of machine tools and related technology, including nationwide and regional results. The figures are actual data, reported by participating producers and distributors of manufacturing technology.

“This muted order activity is not atypical for summer months, and is concurrent with other monthly readings that indicated a drop in durable goods orders and a flat industrial production index. Despite this seasonal dip, however, the bigger picture for manufacturing remains positive,” according to AMT president Douglas K. Woods.

“It’s important to note that in regional USMTO activity, the Northeast and West regions are at their highest average and year-to-date values in 15 years, thanks to the precision parts and aerospace industries. Meanwhile, the PMI (the Institute for Supply Management’s Purchasing Managers Index) posted its third consecutive monthly gain. We anticipate a continued pattern of modest but sustained growth through the end of 2013.”