McCLEAN, VA – September US manufacturing technology orders totaled $321.77 million, down 49.6% year-over-year and up 10.9% sequentially, according to AMT-The Association for Manufacturing Technology.

Year-to-date orders were $3.1 billion, down 16.6% compared to the same period in 2014.

“Considering the growth in orders we’ve seen over the past two years, this decline is not as bad as it sounds,” said AMT president Douglas K. Woods. “It’s important to remember that 2014 was a top- performing year, and that some leveling off to minor pullbacks is expected.”

October marked the 77th consecutive month of manufacturing expansion, according to the Institute for Supply Management. The trade deficit narrowed in September to its lowest level in seven months, and the two-year budget deal just signed by the President averts the possibility of a government shutdown and default through the 2016 elections, injecting some level of certainty into the business environment, says AMT.

“Our forecasters predict this market softness will last at least through the 1st quarter of 2016, but it could turn around sooner rather than later. Right now, economic indicators are favorable, and several of our members’ key customer segments are strong,” Woods said. “Autos, medical equipment and aerospace are all doing exceptionally well. That should help boost capital investment. Overall, we are looking positively at 2016.”

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