Business at mold manufacturing companies in the U.S. isn't booming, but work is holding steady, according to the Summer 2011 Business Forecast Survey of the American Mold Builders Association. Business conditions were termed as "Good / Excellent" for 78% of the respondents, up slightly from the spring survey. Projections of their company's business over the next three months have the majority of respondents saying that it will either "Increase Moderately" (38%) or "Remain the Same" (47%), which indicates that work continues to flow in and order books are active.
Comparing their company's different business activities, Quoting is up (31%) or the same (49%) for the respondents, indicating a steady flow of RFQs. Shipments were up considerably for 48% of the respondents in the summer survey, compared to 37% in the spring survey. Backlog didn't drop at all, which indicates that while shipments are up, the work in the pipeline is enough to keep a good backlog. Profits are up or the same for 85% of the respondents, so companies don't appear to be losing ground in that area.
Employment was down at 28% of the respondents, but remained the same for 64%, which appears to indicate that hiring has slowed. The number of shop employees dropped to 22 in the summer survey from 25 in the spring survey, back to the same number as the winter survey. Design and engineering employees also dropped by one to four, down from five in the spring survey. Workweek hours were up by one hour from the spring survey, for both shop employees (49 hours in the Summer survey) and for design and engineering employees, 48 in the summer survey compared to 47 in the spring survey.