Insights from NFPA’s 2023 Industry & Economic Outlook Conference – Shaping the Future of Economy and Fluid Power

NFPA’s 2023 Industry and Economic Outlook Conference successfully concluded on August 16th at the Westin Chicago Northwest in Itasca, IL. The conference began the morning of August 15th and featured twelve presentations on the future of the economy and fluid power industry.

Key presentations throughout the conference included Jeremy Bess of ITR Economics, Jim Meil of ACT Research, and Scott Klososky to discuss technology and artificial intelligence. Bess kicked off the conference with an update on the U.S. and global economy. ITR expects a mild recession for U.S. industrial production and fluid power shipments in 2024 but predict a strong recovery to begin in 2025.

Scott Klososky ended the first day by speaking about data and artificial intelligence. Klososky spoke to the importance of collecting data and understanding how to use it as an asset. Combining human intelligence with machine intelligence creates hybrid intelligence, also known as a “Centaur”. Klososky thinks AI should be treated like a brilliant child that needs a lot of human attention and guidance. In particular, with “more love than fear”.

The conference concluded with Jim Meil of ACT Research presenting his fluid power forecast. Meil is an industry veteran and a trusted source of forecast data. Jim predicts a slow economy but no recession on the horizon. Fluid power shipments will turn up in Q4 2023 and build momentum in 2024. He highlights pent up demand due to “supplier snafus” in 2021-22 as a driving force. Key indicators going forward will be the stock market, purchasing manager index, and the federal reserve’s decisions on interest rates.

The 2023 Industry and Economic Outlook Conference saw over 275 industry professionals join for networking and industry insights. NFPA thanks everyone who attended, and all involved in making the conference possible. We hope to have you back next year at The Westin Chicago Northwest, August 13-14, 2024!

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