ROCKVILLE, MD-In June U.S. machine tool consumption totaled $236.9 million, according to the American Machine Tool Distributor's Association and the Association for Manufacturing Technology. This total was up 19.5 percent from May. The figure represents a 0.9-percent increase over June 2003 when consumption totaled $234.8 million.

With a year-to-date total of over $1.2 billion, 2004 is up 31.9 percent from 2003.

"June's machine tool orders capped a strong first half as manufacturers scrambled to get equipment in place before the 50 percent expensing allowance expires on Dec. 31," says AMT president John Byrd. "Next month's International Manufacturing Technology Show in Chicago may be their last shot at ordering machines to beat that deadline, unless Congress acts this fall to assure that the manufacturing recovery continues by extending the provision."

A regional breakdown of machine tool consumption showed that consumption was up across the country, in contrast to the previous month when results were mixed. Specifically, in June machine tool consumption was up 25. 8 percent in the Northeast, 91.9 percent in southern states, 2.1 percent in the Midwest, 5.5 percent in the Central Region, which stretches from Texas to Montana, and 20.9 percent in the Western Region, which is made up of California, Oregon, Washington, Nevada and New Mexico.

In May machine tool consumption was down in the Northeast, South and Western regions, but up in the Midwest and Central regions.