U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools and related technology fell 31.3% in October, to $459.16 million from September’s total of $668.38 million. The latter number, revised upward slightly from original reports, included sales during the period covered by IMTS 2012, and represented one of the strongest monthly totals in the history of AMT’s U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report. The latest figure also indicates a slight decline, -0.1%, from the October 2011 total of $459.41 million.

Notwithstanding the reversal, the 2012 10-month total for machine tool sales now stands at $4,753.68 million, up 5.3% compared with the comparable period of 2011.

“Orders continue to be on pace for a record-setting year, and a monthly drop was fully expected in the month following IMTS,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods.

The USMTO report is prepared on a monthly basis by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology, the trade association that represents producers and distributors of machine tools, tooling systems, and related technologies. The report covers sales of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment, on a nationwide and regional basis. The report is based on the actual sales data reported by participating companies.

“While manufacturing continues to play a strong role in economic recovery, our main concern heading toward the end of the year is that lawmakers do what’s necessary to avoid the ‘fiscal cliff,’ and the implications it could have on the broader economy,” Woods continued.