The latest Gardner Business Index reports that mold making is down for the second time in three months.
In the recently released results for June, the composite score for the mold making business dropped 2.1 points to 47.9, the lowest level since October of 2014 and second lowest since December of 2013. Despite the lower than normal score, the result is in line with trends since this past February.
Mold making is often used in custom machining to help manufacture unique parts. The index is used to help predict trends in the manufacturing industry. Results are compiled based on surveys of manufacturers across the country. Scores of 50 or above signify growth while those below 50 mean contraction.
When broken down into subcategories, the results indicate that June was a difficult month for mold making. Only three of the nine categories (material prices, backlog and new orders) increased from May's scores, with new orders showing the largest change, up 1.5 points to 52.9. The other six all dropped significantly from the month prior, the lowest being production, down 2.1 points to drop just below 50 at 49.3, and the largest was supplier deliveries, falling 6.5 points to 52.1.
Five of the nine categories came in below 50, indicating contraction in those areas, the lowest being backlog at 41.3. In what is a good sign for the industry, future expectations came in with the largest score above 50 at 65.4.
Adding further detail to the survey, Modern Machine Shop reports that spending plans for the next 12 months are down 40 percent from the historic average and down 70 percent from last June, indicating that manufacturers are seeking more cost-saving measures.