April tool consumption up 29 percent from the previous month.

ROCKVILLE, Md. - Tool consumption in the United States for April totaled $257.39 million, according to a report by the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Tool Distributors' Association.

The total for April is down 8.3 percent from March, but up 29 percent from the $199.6 million reported in April 2004. With a year-to-date total of $969.35 million, 2005 was up 18.6 percent compared with 2004.

"The continued impressive increases in investment in advanced manufacturing equipment demonstrate that industry recognizes the need to invest in productivity-enhancing technologies in order to remain competitive," said John B. Byrd III, AMT president.

Tool consumption in the Northeast rose to $46.24 million for April, up 21.5 percent from the $38.05 million tallied in March and up 27.7 percent when compared with April 2004. At $144.21 million, the 2005 year-to-date total was 21 percent higher than the comparable figure in 2004.

April machine tool consumption in the South totaled $49.49 million, down 21.1 percent from the March total of $62.71 million, but 81.6 percent higher than the total for April a year ago. With a year-to-date total of $179.91 million, 2005 was running 52.4 percent ahead of 2004 at the same time.

At $72.83 million, Midwestern machine tool consumption in April was 24.1 percent lower than March's $95.97 million and down 3.2 percent when compared with last year. The year-to-date 2005 total of $336.83 million was up 1.8 percent compared with 2004 at the same time.

Central U.S. machine tool consumption was $52.12 million, similar to the $52.29 million tallied in March and 49 percent higher than the total for April a year ago. At $187.69 million, year-to-date machine tool consumption was 26.3 percent higher than in 2004 at the same time.

Western region machine tool consumption in April totaled $36.71 million, up 16.4 percent compared with the $31.53 million total for March and 41.7 percent higher than the April 2004 total. The year-to-date total of $121.71 million was 20.2 percent higher than the comparable figure for 2004.