Motor shipments fell sharply in third quarter of 2012

Demand for motors declined for the first time this year during the third quarter  of 2012 as the National Electrical Manufacturers Association’s (NEMA) Motors Shipments Index fell 19.1% from the previous quarter. This backslide follows on the heels of a 5.4% gain posted in the second quarter and a 5.9% gain recorded in the first quarter of this year. Since bottoming out in the second quarter of 2009, during the depths of the recession, the index has climbed a cumulative 34% but has now dropped below its pre-recession high after topping it in the five previous quarters.

 

NEMA

NEMA

 

Growth in the fractional horsepower segment of the motors market rebounded strongly in the first half of this year but plummeted in the third quarter while integral horsepower motor shipments experienced its first decline since the fourth quarter of 2010. Electrical equipment shipments growth has weakened as 2012 has progressed with core electrical equipment, including motors, falling nearly 9% in the third quarter after an average pace of increase of 8% in the first half of the year.

The manufacturing sector output growth is forecasted at 4.2% for the whole of 2012 and just below 2% for 2013 before picking up to over 3% in 2014. Meanwhile, the electrical manufacturing industry is expected to advance at a steady annual pace over the next two years, according to NEMA.

-Bill O’Leary

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