U.S. machine tool consumption for August totaled almost $287 million, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association.

This total was up 25.8 percent from July and up 38.1 percent from the total of $207.69 million reported for August 2004. With a year to date $1.97 billion total, 2005 was up 16.2 percent compared with 2004.

"(Hurricane) Katrina aside, orders were relatively strong, except for the South," said John B. Byrd III, AMT president. "It's clear that, in the storm's wake, we will likely experience an increase in manufacturing capacity needs driven by the reconstruction effort in the South."

U.S. machine tool consumption was also reported on a regional basis.

Totaling $33.7 million, August machine tool consumption in the Northeast U.S. was up 36.5 percent compared with July's $24.7 million, and 4.7 percent higher than the total for August 2004. With a year-to-date total of $272.73 million, machine tool consumption was 8 percent higher than at the same time a year ago.

Southern machine tool consumption in August stood at $43.25 million, down 1.3 percent from July's $43.94 million, but up 28.6 percent when compared with last August. The year-to-date total of $329.09 million was 26.1 percent higher than the comparable figure for 2004.

At $88.85 million, Midwestern machine tool consumption in August was up 10.6 percent when compared with July's $80.33 million and 44.1 percent higher than the total for August a year ago. The $686.15 million year-to-date total was 3.3 percent higher than the comparable figure for 2004.

August machine tool consumption in the Central U.S. totaled $77.11 million, 60.3 percent higher than July's $48.1 million and up 56.9 percent when compared with August 2004. At $418.06 million, the year-to-date total was 34.5 percent higher than the 2004 total at the same time.

August machine tool consumption in the West totaled $43.85 million, up 41.8 percent compared with July's $30.92 million and 41.3 percent higher than that total for August 2004. The year-to-date total of $268.56 million was up 27.4 percent compared with 2004 at the same time.