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U.S. manufacturing technology orders fell 5.1% in February 2016
The February 2016 U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report, generated from data released by the Association for Manufacturing Technology (AMT), showed that February orders fell 5.1 percent from January and 12.8 percent from a year earlier. Capital equipment orders continued to decline as the overall U.S. manufacturing sector was affected by a strong dollar and weak international demand. China continues to struggle with other emerging economies while Europe, Japan and the United States expand their economies. But rising commodity prices and other positive economic indicators are likely to herald good times for some sectors of U.S. manufacturing, particularly mining, construction and agriculture. Globally, there are other signs of recovery: China's PMI increased for the first time since July 2015; Europe's PMI index also increased slightly. In addition, many Japanese producers are at the end of their fiscal year, which bodes well for the rise in orders. From the perspective of regional manufacturing technology orders, orders from the automobile manufacturing, pharmaceutical and aerospace industries are relatively strong, especially in Southeast Asia. In addition, order growth in the region was also driven by the oil and gas extraction industry due to the recent increase in oil prices. Manufacturing technology orders were valued at $270.9 million in February 2016, compared to $310.7 million in February 2015. Overall orders for the year decreased by 16.3% compared to the same period in 2015. U.S. manufacturing technology orders data is a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing companies invest in metalworking equipment to increase capacity and productivity.