New orders of manufacturing technology totaled $434.1 million in December 2022, according to the latest U.S. Manufacturing Technology Orders Report published by AMT – The Association For Manufacturing Technology. December 2022 orders were down 1.7% from November 2022 and down 27% from December 2021. Total orders for all of 2022 came to $5.54 billion, a 6% decrease from total orders in 2021.
“For yet another month in 2022, and now for the whole year, we can report that while orders were down, the manufacturing technology industry is doing great,” said Patrick W. McGibbon, chief knowledge officer at AMT. “The industry recorded its third-best year in 2022. Despite the reduction in orders from 2021, it is hard to find a negative story about the manufacturing technology industry. The recession that pundits have been predicting for months is now being termed a ‘rolling recession,’ where some industries grow while others contract at different rates. We in the manufacturing industry call that business as usual, and 2022 proved no different.”
The continued demand for capacity from domestic manufacturers was a critical driver in the success of 2022. Machine shops generally account for the largest share of orders in a given month, and their level of investment can be seen as a leading indicator of economic conditions. While they have modestly decreased orders from 2021 levels, machine shops are still nearly 23% over their 2019 order levels. Likewise, agricultural machinery manufacturers decreased orders in 2022 after a dramatic increase in 2021; however, the 2022 orders are still more than double their 2019 levels. Investment from the aerospace sector is situated for growth in 2023. While consistently growing over the last two years, the annual averages between 2020 and 2022 are still about 7% short of their 2019 investment.
“Of the 27 customer industries tracked by USMTO, the number who are underperforming 2019 could almost be counted on a single hand,” said McGibbon. “Over the last two years, we have been pointing out potential hurdles that could upend the historic run of order activity. Each time, the industry responded by taking in more orders than expected, which is a testament to the health of the United States manufacturing sector and a great way to begin 2023.”