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US metal casters cautiously optimistic on economic outlook

Seventy-nine per cent of metal casters in the United States have a positive business outlook for the next twelve months, down from a full 90 per cent in June, according to a new survey from the American Foundry Society. This optimism comes despite 87 per cent of respondents saying they expect a recession to hit the US by 2023. The Metalcasters Quarterly Outlook Survey from AFS measures current business conditions for US metal casters and gauges their economic outlook for the next year. The third quarter survey, conducted in the first half of September 2022, found top concerns for metal casters are worker shortages and inflation, followed by component shortages and workforce training. Thirty-eight per cent of responding metal casters said the worker shortage had eased over the past six months, while the rest have seen no improvement. Sixty-one per cent of metal casters expect to increase their company’s head count over the next twelve months, the survey found.

“Metal casters are doing all that it takes to produce the highly engineered castings that are needed for our modern way of life and national defence,” said Doug Kurkul, CEO of AFS. “Despite the worker shortage, rising costs, supply chain disruptions, and other challenges, metal casters are reporting strong demand for castings and remain cautiously optimistic about the next twelve months. Additionally, nine of every ten foundries are also making capital investments this year, another signal of a bright future.”