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It seems as though the Great Recession is continually affecting the world’s economy. However, a recent news story is giving metalworkers reason to celebrate. In recent months, the metalworking industry has been showing signs of wriggling free from an unforgiving economic cycle.

According to the latest Metalworking Business Index released by Gardner Business Media, the metalworking industry is growing — and it’s growing significantly.

metal working business index
Source: Modern Machine Shop

Gardner released its report for February 2014 and the industry received a rating of 53.4, a 7.7 percent increase over the previous year. Even more impressive and encouraging, February marked the fifth consecutive month that the industry grew even as other industries continued to struggle.

Gardner Business Media sends a monthly e-mail survey to industry insiders. The organization takes into consideration factors such as new orders, production, employment, backlogs and other industry indicators that can help determine whether an industry is growing, stalled out or contracting.

In February, the survey pointed toward significant growth. Most indicators were positive — backlogs were shrinking, employment grew, supplier deliveries are lengthening, the rate of growth at companies with 20 or more employees picked up and companies expected to increase capital spending. In addition, prices received increased for the third month in a row, but they increased at a slower rate than the previous two months.

Even some indicators that have been slow to recover from the Great Recession showed signs of life, including exports contracted, although at a slower rate than previously reported.

It’s not all-good news for the industry, however. The index showed that material prices are climbing. But even that could be taken as a signal that companies are increasingly working with product development services to build their businesses. A recent story on FOX News encouraged investors to think about putting their money in industrial stocks.

Things are looking up for the metalworking industry, and Product Development Solutions is proud to be a part of what keeps it that way.

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