Confidence that business will improve in the next three months slowed somewhat among metal-forming companies in the U.S. and Canada, while many think it will remain unchanged, according to a survey from the Precision Metalforming Association.
Sixty-three percent of survey participants said they expect economic activity to remain unchanged, which is higher than in April. However, just 23 percent said they thought conditions would improve, down from 28 percent last month.
Fewer companies expected a decline in activity at 14 percent compared with 16 percent last month, according to PMA.
Thirty-four percent of those surveyed said orders were anticipated to increase, while 47 percent predicted no change.
"Suppliers of metal parts and assemblies experienced modest gains in orders during the first quarter of 2013, but suffered a 6 percent decrease in shipments compared to March 2012," PMA President William E. Gaskin said in a statement. "The automotive market is the sector with the strongest shipments, but most other markets have leveled off or declined somewhat from levels consistent with 2012."