Economic slowdown hits tools

The economic slowdown has struck manufacturers of factory equipment and tools, but the hit hasn't been too severe. All 19 industries classified here as tools manufacturers saw their U.S. end markets slow in the 12-mo ending March 2001, but in most cases, the deceleration was miniscule. For example, the industry that makes instruments to measure electricity (SIC 3825) saw end-market growth sl...

06/01/2001


The economic slowdown has struck manufacturers of factory equipment and tools, but the hit hasn't been too severe. All 19 industries classified here as tools manufacturers saw their U.S. end markets slow in the 12-mo ending March 2001, but in most cases, the deceleration was miniscule.

For example, the industry that makes instruments to measure electricity (SIC 3825) saw end-market growth slow to "only" 48.62%, down from 53.87% in the 12-mo ending December 2000. That change is a 5.3% slowdown, but it's from such a high level that the change hardly registers.

More noticeable is the negative growth seen in the fluid meters (SIC 3824) and process controls instruments (SIC 3823) industries. Here, end-markets fell 3.38% in the 12-mo ending March 2001.

The demand slowdown should brighten prospects for plant engineers who are buying new equipment and tools. Tools producers may be more willing to cut prices in order to maintain market share. We also see improvements in the margin conditions for 11 industries in the tools and equipment arena.

Price/cost/demand roundup

Industry

SIC

Average Product Prices

Average Product Prices

Direct Mfg. Costs

Direct Mfg. Costs

Growth in U.S. End Markets

Growth in U.S. End Markets


the average producer in an industry. Grades of A to A+ mean plant engineers may be able to strike a better bargain with suppliers and better control plant costs.

All data prepared and presented by Thinking Cap Solutions, Inc., Port Angeles, WA (telephone: 360-452-6159; e-mail: ebaatz@ice-alert.com).

Other hand and edge tools

3423

1.03

0.99

Stable

B

6.23

5.31

Hand saws and saw blades

3425

0.42

0.29

Stable

C

4.26

2.69

Other hardware

3429

1.91

1.61

Stable

A

3.61

1.61

Other power transmission equipment

3568

1.09

1.04

Stable

A+

6.15

3.62

Conveyors and conveying equipment

3535

1.13

1.46

Stable

A+

7.23

5.86

Hoists, cranes, and monorails

3536

1.76

1.94

Stable

A+

6.35

4.36

Industrial trucks and tractors

3537

1.23

1.54

Stable

A

8.73

6.48

Metal-cutting machine tools

3541

0.78

0.74

Stable

C

17.29

15.47

Machine tool accessories

3545

0.98

1.30

Stable

F

11.19

8.31

Power driven hand tools

3546

0.21

0.65

Stable

F

3.65

2.36

Welding apparatus

3548

2.12

2.04

Stable

B

2.49

-0.30

Pumps and pumping equipment

3561

1.66

1.86

Stable

A

4.00

2.47

Air and gas compressors

3563

1.21

1.17

Stable

B

4.00

2.47

Speed changers, drives, and gears

3566

2.13

2.22

Stable

A

6.15

3.62

Transformers

3612

2.40

1.56

Stable

C

33.00

30.68

Motors and generators

3621

0.23

0.32

Stable

F

22.98

20.39

Process control instruments

3823

1.10

1.16

Stable

C

-0.54

-3.38

Fluid meters and counting devices

3824

2.66

2.74

Stable

D

-0.54

-3.38

Instruments to measure electricity

3825

1.34

1.35

Stable

F-

3.87

48.62





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