Motors shipments gain 6.1%, fourth-quarter 2009, NEMA says
NEMA’s Motors Shipments Index (MSI) increased 6.1% during the fourth-quarter 2009, marking the second consecutive gain for the index, according to NEMA. MSI is 5.7% below the fourth-quarter 2008 level. Inflation- and seasonally-adjusted shipments of fractional horsepower motors rose for the third-consecutive quarter, while integral horsepower motors saw only their second increase in the past seven quarters.
The U.S. economy appeared to gain some momentum during the fourth quarter of 2009 , expanding at a 5.9% annualized rate to finish the year, NEMA says, though underlying components driving growth do not portray a broad-based recovery. Inventories accounted for a sizable chunk of calculated growth in real GDP during 2009Q4 and the current turn in the inventory cycle is not expected to last beyond the next couple of quarters. One surprising result from the Q4 GDP release was a stronger-than-expected gain in business investment spending on equipment and software, NEMA says, suggesting that companies are beginning to show some confidence in near-term economic prospects.
At this time, NEMA said, the recent turn in the inventory cycle along with surging exports are supporting most of the rebound in manufacturing activity. However, this is more of a temporary boost and the sector’s prospects for recovery will hinge on increased export demand continuing as well as capital spending exhibiting signs of sustained growth. The recent upturn in output will generate replacement demand for motors and other equipment used to drive production processes in manufacturing plants. With the national average capacity utilization rate remaining well below long-term historical norms, this boost will be somewhat limited until a larger share of productive manufacturing capacity comes back on line. Consequently, NEMA’s Motors Shipments Index will likely see modest gains on balance during 2010, the organization predicted.
NEMA is the association of electrical and medical imaging equipment manufacturers. Founded in 1926 and headquartered near Washington, DC, its approximately 450 member companies manufacture products used in the generation, transmission and distribution, control, and end use of electricity, the group says. www.nema.org
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– Edited by Mark T. Hoske, editor in chief, Control Engineering , www.controleng.com.