NFPA’s May 2019 Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) report, a monthly source of fluid power shipment and order data trends often used to benchmark company performance, continues to point to a downturn in the U.S. fluid power marketplace. All three trend analysis indicators (year-to-year percent change, month-to-month percent change, and year-to-date percent change) displayed declining conditions, and increasing product pricing pressure is certainly contributing to the weakening business conditions. Below is a year-to-year percent change trend graph of fluid power equipment PPI data, which summarizes the changes in pricing for all fluid power products.
Preliminary May 2019 shipments of fluid power products decreased 6.6% compared to May 2018 and decreased 0.1% when compared to April 2019. Mobile hydraulic, industrial hydraulic, and pneumatic shipments decreased when compared to last year. Mobile hydraulic, industrial hydraulic, and pneumatic shipments also decreased when compared to last month.
Final April 2019 shipments of fluid power products increased 1.1% for the 2019 calendar year when compared to the same time period in 2018. Both the 12-Month Moving Average (MMA) index of 100.4, an indicator of change in the size of the industry, and the 12/12 Ratio index of 106.2, an indicator of change in the rate of growth in the industry, maintained levels above 100. 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.
Because this downturn is not unique to the fluid power industry, paying attention to leading indicators may help determine how far and how fast the industry is declining. At the moment, this continued slow pace of decline is giving many manufacturers the opportunity to plan accordingly.
Questions and inquiries about participating in the Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) program can be directed to Eric Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org or (414) 778-3372.