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Industry and Economic Outlook Conference Recap 2017

In August, industry leaders and economists gathered in Chicago for the 2017 NFPA Industry and Economic Outlook Conference (IEOC). Experts examined industry economics, market forecasts, and technological breakthroughs that could impact the fluid power supply chain for years.

Topics included macroeconomic and global trends. The following experts provided insights into key mobile and industrial customer markets.

  • Alan Beaulieu, ITR Economics, presented  US Market Outlook and its Effect on World Economies

  • John Walker, Oxford Economics, presented Global Growth Expectations and the Impact of Trumpanomics

  • Eli Lustgarten, ELS Consultants, presented Fluid Power Customer Markets Overview

  • Jim Meil,  ACT Research, presented Fluid Power Industry Forecast

Representatives from seven different fluid power markets spoke during breakout sessions. Speakers included:

  • Eric Starks, FTR Transportation Intelligence – Heavy Truck Market Forecast

  • David Phillips, Off-Highway Research – Construction Machinery Forecast

  • Ann Duignan, J.P. Morgan – Agriculture Machinery Forecast

  • Tom Runiewicz, IHS Markit – Industrial Markets Overview

  • Pat McGibbon, Strategic Analytics – Metalworking/Machine Tool Market Forecast

  • Mark Watson, IHS Markit – Global Outlook on Machinery Production and Industrial Automation Capital Expenditure

  • Alex Chausovsky, ITR Economics – Energy and Metals Commodities Outlook

Studies showed that in 2016 the U.S. was responsible for 24.7% of the GDP, up slightly from the previous year. China was next with 14.9%. Some experts are cautious with their growth forecasts due to:

  • China’s growth leveling out after it’s “mini-boom”

  • NAFTA and International trade

  • Dwindling excitement over low oil price

  • Little economic growth in our market-based economy

  • Trump’s stimulus likely to be later and smaller than expected

  • Effects of BREXIT which are starting to be felt

Though there is concern, some experts think good days are ahead because:

  • Consumers are in great shape

  • Interest rates are good

  • Unemployment continues to decline

  • Banks are lending

  • Retail sales are at a record high

  • Housing starts are up

Overall the 2017 IEOC was an inspirational presentation on technology and innovations that are taking place all around. In a nutshell, we can anticipate modest growth in 2018 with a decline in 2019.

NFPA Announces Completion of 2017 Technology Roadmap

During the conference, NFPA announced the completion of the 2017 Technology Roadmap. It is the second publication of the NFPA Roadmap Committee – titled the 2017 NFPA Technology Roadmap: Improving the Design and Function of Fluid Power Components and Systems.

Unlike previous reports, the 2017 NFPA Technology Roadmap focuses solely on the areas of pre-competitive research needed to increase fluid power’s competitive position in the marketplace and does not propose a specific agenda for fluid power standards development or market education.

Click here for a copy of the 2017 NFPA Technology Roadmap.


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