SOFP Industry Opinion: Slow Start Leading To Positive Gains

NFPA’s recent release of the September 2014 State of the Fluid Power Industry Survey (SOFP), an electronic opinion-based survey that is conducted amongst our manufacturer membership on a monthly basis, revealed that while our industry has grown compared to last year, participants foresee a flat 4th quarter making way for positive gains next year.

In September, SOFP participants clearly agree that our industry has grown compared to last year at this time, with over 60% of respondents pointing towards an increase. But when asked what the next few months have in store, the majority of participants feel that our industry will remain flat with some very slight growth possible. Opinions quickly turned much more positive, however, when asked what the next 12 months looked like compared to the last 12 months, with over 60% of participants looking towards a positive year for the industry. Only around 30% believe there will be no change over the next year, while under 10% believe there will be a decline.

36% of SOFP participants plan to increase their workforce over the next 3 months, while backlog was split almost evenly between increase/stay the same/decrease amongst participants.

In the next article, we will examine the September 2014 results from NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) program, a monthly source of fluid power shipment and order data trends, to validate some of the SOFP results above.

State of the Fluid Power Industry Survey
NFPA offers a variety of market reports and programs, but only one allows industry peers to express their opinion on the current and future state of our industry every month simply by answering seven multiple choice questions. These opinions, combined with diffusion indexing and NFPA analysis, allow participants to identify the industry’s position in the business cycle, anticipate how the industry will do in the months to come, track industry backlog and hiring plans, and analyze the progress of your company compared to others.

Questions and inquiries about participating in the State of the Fluid Power Industry Survey can be directed to Eric Armstrong at or (414) 778-3372.

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