January/February Orders Data Suggest Slowdown

Stats Fact of the Week

Stats Fact of the Week: Week of April 8, 2019

NFPA’s February 2019 Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) report, a monthly source of fluid power shipment and order data trends often used to benchmark company performance, highlights a positive start to 2019 industry shipments with growth in January/February. However, the industry orders data, which is a precursor of things to come concerning fluid power shipments, tells a different story. January/February orders emphasize a low, single-digit decline in the majority of fluid power market segments, which matches what ITR Economics anticipates for this year. (View the quarterly reports they prepare for NFPA here).

Preliminary February 2019 shipments of fluid power products increased 3.6% compared to February 2018 and decreased 2.1% when compared to January 2019. Mobile hydraulic and pneumatic shipments increased, while industrial hydraulic shipments decreased when compared to February 2018. Mobile hydraulic and industrial hydraulic shipments decreased, while pneumatic shipments increased when compared to last month.

Final January 2019 shipments of fluid power products increased 3.2% for the 2019 calendar year when compared to the same time period in 2018. Both the 12-Month Moving Average (MMA) index of 100.3 (an indicator of change in the size of the industry), and the 12/12 Ratio index of 108.8 (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.

March has traditionally been the best month out of the year during normal business conditions, so it will be interesting to see how well March fares under these somewhat declining conditions. Fluid power manufacturers should keep a close eye on the “Year-to-Date % Change” figures and benchmark company performance against the industry average as the year progresses. Benchmarking is always a great indicator of how well your company is doing and if it is time to act upon the results.

The Confidential Shipments Statistics (CSS) Program is the only monthly source of aggregated industry data for the U.S. 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 U.S. 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.