Tool consumption totaled $272.34 million during the month of March

ROCKVILLE, Md. - March U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $272.34 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association and the Association For Manufacturing Technology.

That total was up 61 percent from February and up 56.2 percent from the $174 million reported for March 2003. With $609.5 million year-to-date, 2004 is up 44 percent compared with 2003.

"Tax incentives and a need for the latest technology to reduce manufacturing costs are driving the current surge in capital investments in the U.S.," said Ralph J. Nappi, president of the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association.

The United States Machine Tool Consumption report, jointly compiled by the two trade associations representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. consumption data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment.

Broken down by regions, consumption in the Northeast rose to $34 million, up 9 percent from February's $31 million, and up 40 percent when compared to March a year ago. The $86 million year-to-date total was up 59.4 percent from 2003 figures.

At $52.5 million, machine tool consumption in the South was 199 percent higher than the $17.5 million tallied in February, and 21.8 percent ahead of the total for last March. With a $94.5 million year-to-date total, 2004 is 1.8 percent ahead of 2003.

With $112 million, Midwest machine tool consumption was up 81 percent from the $62 million for the previous month and up 99 percent when compared with March 2003. The $244 million total beats the comparable 2003 figure by 48 percent.

Machine tool consumption in the Central United States in March rose to $49 million, 58 percent higher than February's $31 million and 53 percent higher than the total for March a year ago. Year-to-date consumption rose to $108 million, 61 percent higher than last year at the same time.

The Western United States reported $25 million in machine tool consumption, 11 percent less than the $28 million for February, but up 33 percent when compared with March 2003. At $76.5 million, the year-to-date total is 76.4 percent higher than 2003.

Second City Metals reaches fourth year in business

CHICAGO - National steel distributor Second City Metals recently celebrated its four-year anniversary. It sells galvanized, galvannealed, perforated, polyvinyl-coated coils and sheets, stainless, aluminum and aluminum-added steel to U.S. spiral-duct manufacturers.

"Even with the tight supply of steel, our business continues to grow and none of our customers experienced a delay in receiving their steel," said company President Joe Landry in a statement. "We've been able to carve out a niche in the HVAC industry by specifically targeting spiral-pipe manufacturers and I think our customers appreciate that."