Manufacturing technology orders are up 3 percent year-to-date, according to the latest report from AMT, the Association for Manufacturing Technology. The organization credits the year-over-year gains to March and April orders, which helped pick up the slack from the weather-induced slowdown in January and February.

April U.S. manufacturing technology orders totaled $391.53 million, according to AMT. This total, as reported by companies participating in the United States Manufacturing Technology Orders program, was down 20.4 percent from March but up 9.8 percent when compared with the total of $356.52 million reported for April 2013. With a year-to-date total of $1,620.83 million, 2014 is up 3 percent compared with 2013.

The USMTO report, compiled by the trade association representing the production and distribution of manufacturing technology, provides regional and national U.S. orders data of domestic and imported machine tools and related equipment. Analysis of manufacturing technology orders provides a reliable leading economic indicator as manufacturing industries invest in capital metalworking equipment to increase capacity and improve productivity.