Tool consumption for the year is up over 2003 with over $211 million spent in April.

U.S. machine tool consumption is up 46.2 percent compared with 2003, according to a report conducted by the Association For Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association.

The report also says that April tool consumption totaled $211.03 million. This total was down 25.5 percent from March, but up 45.2 percent from the April 2003 total of $145.30 million. The year-to-date total for 2004 is $829.80 million.

"It didn't surprise anyone that April machine tool orders were softer than March numbers," said John B. Byrd III, president of AMT. "After all, March was the best month the market has posted since March 2001, the market is running 46 percent ahead of 2003 and we expect the news to only get better."

On a regional basis, the Northeast reported machine tool consumption at $33.65 million, up 8.2 percent compared to the $31.10 million tallied in March and up 114.1 percent when compared to April a year ago.

Southern machine tool consumption was $29.84 million, down 40.4 percent from the March total of $50.09 million but up 13.6 percent when compared to April 2003.

At $78.13 million, Midwestern consumption in April was 37.2 percent lower than the $124.66 million total for March, but up 27.5 percent when compared to last April.

April consumption in the Central U.S. totaled $39.16 million, down 23.3 percent compared to March's $51.07 million but up 46.1 percent when compared to April a year ago.

Totaling $30.25 million, the West was up 15.3 percent from the previous month's $26.24 million and 98.5 percent higher than the total in April a year ago.