U.S. manufacturers’ new orders for machine tools and related technology fell 11.0% from October to November 2012, to a total of $421,826,000, according to the monthly United States Manufacturing Technology Orders (USMTO) report released by AMT - The Association For Manufacturing Technology and based on actual data reported by participating companies. The report covers all orders for manufacturing technology, both domestically built products and imported ones.

November represented a second consecutive month of declining totals, following the 31.3% drop from September to October, $473,892,000.

It’s notable that the September result coincided with the biannual IMTS 2012 event, which drove total sales to $674,234 million.

The slower rate of manufacturing technology during November also represented an 8.5% drop versus the comparable figure for November 2012, $460,865,000. It brought the year-to-date USMTO total to $5,212.17 million, up 4.8% compared with the January-November 2011 total.

“Orders for all of 2012 remain full steam ahead, likely on pace to pass the totals of 2011 and echoing the overall strength of manufacturing for the year,” stated AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “While economic uncertainty remains a concern for both businesses and consumers, we anticipate a steady, albeit slower growth for manufacturing as we begin 2013.”

Regional variations

In addition to the total activity in new orders, the USMTO covers activity in five geographic regions.

In the Northeast, manufacturing technology orders rose 1.9% during November, up to $66.02 million from October’s $64.81 million. The new figure represented a 20.8% drop from the November 2011 total, $83.32 million.

With a year-to-date total of $713.53 million in new orders, the Northeast region is trailing the 11-month 2011 total ($762.62 million) by 6.4%.

In the South, new orders for machine tools and related products fell 6.4% during November, to $65.47 million from $69.98 million in October. The new result is 22.6% higher than the region’s November 2011 result ($53.40 million), and brings its 2012 year-to-date total to $760.48 million, 17.7% higher than the South’s January-November 2011 total of $645.99 million.

The Midwest region reported manufacturing technology orders totaling $129.36 million during November, a 20.9% decline from October’s result, $163.55 million, and a 13.7% drop from the November 2011 result, $149.85 million.

The year-to-date total for Midwest manufacturing technology orders is $1,664.51 million, raising the 2012 3.5% over the comparable 11-month total for 2011, $1,608.22 million.

Orders for new machining equipment in the Central region fell 14.3% in November, down to $109.15 million from $127.32 million in October, and also fell 13.0% versus the $125.51 million total for November 2011.

Year-to-date 2012 new orders for the Central region stand at $1,458.43 million, 5.6% more than the comparable figure for 2011.

Finally in the Western region, November 2012 manufacturing technology orders rose 7.4% to $51.82 million from the October total of $48.23 million, and rose 6.2% from the November 2011 total of $48.78 million. 

The region’s year-to-date total for orders is $615.22 million through November, 6.7% above $576.43 million 11-month total for 2011.