PF Blog

The Business Pendulum

By: Christina M. Fuges
9. November 2012

That is what the American Mold Builders Association's latest business forecast examines as it looks at the current state of mold manufacturing. More specifically, a swinging business pendulum with momentum in the right direction as evidenced by the majority of participating members who have experienced business growth and strong employment levels this past Fall.

AMBA reports: Mold building executives understand that many factors contribute to and impact the overall state of the manufacturing sector. For many tooling companies, the swinging pendulum for 2012 has maintained its balance on the good side of the profit and loss statements, as the majority of these companies has experienced both business growth and strong employment levels. These trends alone are interesting due to the fact that election cycles tend to bring more stagnation to American businesses due to the unknown — an impact that often slows the pendulum swing, so to speak. But as demonstrated by the employment hours for shop floor employees over the last seven quarters, the median distribution of work hours has been quite stable running at 50 hours.   
 
The mainstream of company executives from over 90 mold building entities from across the United States recently indicated that business conditions continue to remain stable and positive. As collected by the American Mold Builders Association (AMBA) during its most recent economic survey, 80 percent of those providing performance data indicated that current business conditions are excellent or good.  
 
As indicated by the participants in this quarter’s survey who represent 2,945 shop floor, design and engineering employees, employment levels remain the same or have increased for 94 percent while they’ve decreased for only 6 percent of the population. As stated in open-ended comments, the main issues faced by moldmaking executives are the shortage of skilled labor and simply the complete lack of a labor pool.

When examining other economic indicators that impact the state of the business including quoting volume, shipments and backlog, it can be concluded that business conditions will remain stable and relatively unchanged well into the start of the new year. The table below compares the consolidated responses over the last five quarters to the primary economic indicator questions, which compare current level of business to that of three months ago.  

Building on the last quarter’s performance, more remarkably, is the fact that 43 percent of this quarter’s respondents indicated they expect their business to increase moderately (38 percent) or substantially (5 percent) over the next three months (Fig 3.0). Coupling these responses with the fact that over four out of every 10 participants project their businesses to remain steady over the next quarter provides significant insight as to the current strength of the moldmaking industry.  

As evident by the data contributed in the AMBA’s Fall Business Forecast Survey, the near-term future of the moldmaking segment appears to be very stable. For now, the business pendulum seem to be swinging with momentum in the right direction!
 

Visit www.amba.org for more information on its Business Forecast.

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