December U.S. manufacturing technology consumption totaled $321.35 million, the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors’ Association said.

This total was down 6.9 percent from November and down 0.5 percent from the total of $322.81 million reported for December 2005. With a year-end total of $3.8 billion, 2006 was up 26.8 percent compared with 2005.

“2006 was an exceptional year, with the highest U.S. consumption since 2000,” says John B. Byrd III, AMT president. “Growth should continue in 2007, at a more modest pace, as U.S. manufacturers continue to modernize to meet global competition.”

U.S. manufacturing technology consumption was also reported on a regional basis.

December manufacturing technology consumption in the Northeast stood at $57.61 million, up 1.7 percent from November’s $56.65 million and 20.3 percent higher than the December 2005 total. At $582.25 million, the year-end consumption total was 37.2 percent higher than in 2005.

Southern U.S. manufacturing technology consumption in December rose to $50.08 million, 50.6 percent higher than November’s $33.25 million and up 13.4 percent when compared with December a year ago. The year-end total of $495.87 million was 1.9 percent higher than the comparable figure a year ago.

Totaling $68.54 million, manufacturing technology consumption in the Midwest was 40.3 percent less than November’s $114.76 million and 38.1 percent less than the December 2005 figure. With a year-end total of $1.2 billion, 2006 was 13.7 percent ahead of 2005.

At $81.67 million, December Central region manufacturing technology consumption was down 16.3 percent compared with November’s $97.61 million, but 9.1 percent higher than the December 2005 total. At year-end, consumption totaled more than $1 billion, 49.3 percent higher than the comparable figure in 2005.

Western consumption rose to $63.45 million, 48.1 percent higher than November’s $42.85 million and 40.4 percent higher than the December total a year ago. The $596.98 million tallied in 2006 was 42.5 percent higher than the 2005 total.