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Metalworking Activity Starts off 2021 Sending Mixed Signals

Metalworking industry, like most other sectors of the economy, was hard hit by the economic slowdown caused by the pandemic. As we start a new year, overall sentiment is the one of hope and expectation of economic recovery. The activity in the month of January did not differ much from where we left it off in 2020. While there is a rise in the number of total orders, this positive signal is dampened by decrease in the number of export orders, which further emphasizes the notion that there are still challenges ahead of the industry.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Gardner Business Index (GBI): Metalworking changed only slightly during January from where it ended in 2020.
  • New orders and production activity further propelled the Metalworking Index higher with each measure marking its fifth consecutive month of expanding activity.
  • The supply side of this picture is less sanguine as January’s supplier delivery reading had been predicted to decline.

“Five of the index’s six components registered expansionary readings with export activity remaining stubbornly in contractionary territory.”

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