U.S. a bright spot in sluggish global drives market

IMS study finds China, Eurozone economies will slow growth in sector


IHS has acquired IMS ResearchModest growth in the U.S. is the only bright spot in an otherwise sluggish global drives market, according to a new report released by IMS Research. Still, according to IMS Research’s quarterly tracker and current indicators, global motor drive revenues in 2011 were at a multi-year high and 2012 is likely to set a new peak, albeit only modestly higher.

IMS Research estimates that global motor drive sales in the first half of 2012 were down more than 9% as compared to the first half of 2011. IMS Research predicts EMEA and Asia will see grow in the second half of 2012. IMS Research forecasts that global motor drives sales will grow by 2.6% in 2012 as compared to a 15.3% increase in 2011; this is in line with lower predicted real GDP growth and machinery production revenues in 2012.

According to IHS Global Insight, worldwide real GDP growth is forecast to decrease from 3% in 2011 to 2.5% in 2012 and then rebound to 2.6% in 2013, while machinery production is forecast to decline from 12.4% in 2011, to 7% in 2012, and 5.7% in 2013.

“Over the last few years, the majority of the increase in motor drive sales came from Asia while the Americas grew at a slower rate. EMEA motor drive sales by contrast, have not returned to pre-recession levels. The predicted 6% to 8% year over year motor drive sales growth in the Americas, may offset slower sales in EMEA and Asia,” said IMS Research Analyst and report author Rolando Campos. 

The volatile U.S. election and still-uncertain economic picture has not put a damper on the the drives market, Campos found. “The Americas are seeing stronger motor drive sales, in large part, because the U.S. is on a stronger financial footing while the Eurozone is still in the midst of its financial crisis,” he said. “In addition, an increase in commercial HVAC, oil, gas, and mining projects in the U.S., Canada, and South America has resulted in an increase in demand for motor drives. Finally, as motor drive prices have decreased and energy costs have increased, many companies have decided to replace motor starters and soft starters with motor drives.”

While global motor drive sales have slowed in 2012 as compared to 2011, the global economy and the motor drives market appears to be set for a stronger year in 2013 as many political uncertainties are resolved in the U.S., Eurozone, and China, the research firm said.

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