Machine tool consumption in the United States for February totaled $269 million, according to the Association for Manufacturing Technology and the American Machine Tool Distributors' Association.

This total was up 25.3 percent from January and up 14.3 percent from the $235.4 million reported in February 2005. With a year-to-date $483.8 million total, 2006 was up 11.2 percent compared with 2005.

"February's growth marks the start of a third year of expansion in the U.S. machine tool consumption," said John B. Byrd III, AMT president. "That is good news for the industry, and even better news for U.S. manufacturers, as this modern, productive equipment will enable them to be increasingly competitive in the global marketplace."

Machine tool consumption in the Northeast rose to $39.7 million for February, up 60.4 percent from January's $24.7 million and level with February a year ago. At $64.4 million, the year-to-date total was 8.1 percent higher than the comparable figure in 2005.

The South saw machine tool consumption total $39.5 million in February, 11.8 percent higher than January's $35.3 million and 18.9 percent higher than the total for February 2005. The year-to-date $74.8 million total was 12.3 percent higher than the 2005 total at the same time.

Midwestern machine tool consumption in February stood at $97.3 million, up 44 percent when compared with January's $67.8 million and 8.3 percent higher than the February 2005 total. With a year-to-date total of $165.02 million, 2006 was down 5 percent from 2005.

At $64 million, Central region machine tool consumption was up 26.8 percent in February compared with January's $50.5 million and up 43.8 percent compared with February a year ago. Year-to-date 2006 consumption totaled $115 million, a 34.9 percent improvement over 2005.

Western U.S. machine tool consumption in February stood at $28.66 million, off 21.5 percent from January's $36.5 million and level with February a year ago. The year-to-date total of $65.18 million leads the 2005 comparable total by 29.6 percent.