NEMA: motors rebound, predicts mixed conditions

For the second straight quarter, shipments of fractional-horsepower motors have increased. However, gains and projections are meager.

By Plant Engineering Staff August 1, 2007

Shipments of integral and fractional horsepower motors increased for the second consecutive quarter, as NEMA’s Motors Shipments Index increased 2.8% on a quarter-to-quarter basis during the second quarter of 2007. On a year-over-year basis, the index suggests that underlying gains in motors demand growth remain small, with a 0.1% gain in the top-line index compared to the second quarter of 2006. Nonetheless, the motors shipment index has increased 56% from its lowest point in the last economic downturn.Integral horsepower motors will likely continue to see modest gains in demand. By contrast, end-market conditions have soured for fractional horsepower motors and are expected to remain a limiting factor to future gains in the top-line index. The residential housing market, which is one of the more important ultimate destinations for products containing fractional motors, has not yet reached a bottom, and the probability that conditions worsen further during the second half of 2007 is high and rising.The NEMA Motors Index is a composite measure of NEMA-member companies’ U.S. shipments of fractional and integral horsepower motors. Product shipments data are drawn from NEMA statistical surveys and are adjusted for inflation and seasonal fluctuations.