Market's stats show strength.

Position:The view from IMTS 2006

MTS 2006 takes place at a time when the metalworking manufacturing market is, to quote Harry Moser, "uniformly profitable."

Moser, president of Agie Charmilles Group, Lincolnshire, IL, has the numbers to back up that assessment.

In June, Agie Charmilles issued its latest Charmilles Machining Business Activity Index, which was 67, down slightly from 68 in April. The index surveys machine-tool users concerning their current business level versus three months earlier. Any reading above 50 indicates that business activity has improved. The index is the only known monthly barometer of business in the U.S. machining industries.

At the same time, the Charmilles/USBEF Machining Industry Financial Strength Index weighed in at 313, versus 286 in April 2006, 303 in May 2005, and 55 in January 2002, the lowest reading on record. "Any reading above 100 indicates that US Bancorp Equipment Finance's machine-tool lease payment delinquencies--considered a good measure of liquidity and consistent profitability--are at a rate below the...

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