CSS Monthly Shipments: November Shipments Encounters Significant Declines

NFPA’s November 2019 Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) report, a monthly source of fluid power shipment and order data trends for benchmarking company performance, revealed substantial declines in month-to-month and year-to-year fluid power shipment trends. Double-digit declines in both trend analysis measures validated the effect on year-to-date trends dropping an entire percentage point or more across all industry segments. This lines up with other signs of weakening in popular economic indicators, such as PMI’s drop to the weakest point in ten years.  While end of the year declines are a common occurrence in many industries, including fluid power, this month’s decline was well beyond average. While experts continue to point to inventory liquidation, low fluid power product demand, and foreign trade policy and tariff uncertainty as the major contributors to our industry’s decline, the recent US-China trade truce may introduce some slight relief to increasing rates of decline.

Preliminary November 2019 shipments of fluid power products decreased 15.0% compared to November 2018 and decreased 17.1% when compared to October 2019. Mobile hydraulic, industrial hydraulic and pneumatic shipments decreased when compared to last year and decreased when compared to last month.

Final October 2019 shipments of fluid power products decreased 4.3% for the 2019 calendar year when compared to the same time period in 2018. The 12-Month Moving Average (MMA) index of 96.4, an indicator of change in the size of the industry, continues to hover below 100, while the 12/12 Ratio index of 97.4, an indicator of change in the rate of growth in the industry, is below 100 as well. The direction and speed in which these two index indicators move, as well as their position above or below 100, can help you understand the short-term outlook for our industry.

Continue to keep a close eye on your leading indicators and foreign trade policy progress to help predict further industry/product trends. The coming month-to-month index trends with 12 MMAs and 12/12 ratios are another great indicator to watch right now for short-term trend direction.

The Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) Program

The only monthly source of aggregated industry data for the US fluid power industry. This report presents data on monthly shipments and orders collected from our membership and helps users understand trends and anticipate change within the industry. Member companies can benchmark their own company’s performance against overall industry performance using the CSS results.  Data is collected from participating US fluid power manufacturers, compiled by a 3rd party to maintain confidentiality, and results are then only sent to CSS participants.

Questions and inquiries about participating in the Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) program can be directed to Eric Armstrong at earmstrong@nfpa.com or (414) 778-3372.

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