Trends Remain Consistent in Fluid Power Shipments

Some time ago, in an article titled “‘A Sure Thing’ in Future Trends of Fluid Power Shipments”, I identified three very consistent trends in fluid power shipments spanning a ten-year period (2008 – 2017) using “month-to-month % change” analysis on historical shipments index data from NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics Program.  Those trends and historical analysis were:

  1. An increase in shipments from February to March. 10-year Average Increase: +11.6%
  2. A decrease in shipments from June to July. 10-year Average Decrease: -7.7%
  3. A decrease in shipments from October to November. 10-year Average Decrease: -10.5%

Chart 1

Since then, there have been numerous requests to re-examine the consistency of three trends. Updating the “month-to-month % change” analysis of fluid power shipments to span a 12-year period revealed a continued consistency in all three trends:

  1. An increase in shipments from February to March. 12-year Average Increase: +11.5%
  2. A decrease in shipments from June to July. 12-year Average Decrease: -7.6%
  3. A decrease in shipments from October to November.  12-year Average Decrease: -11.2%

Chart 2

To further reinforce how reliable these three trends are, these trends maintained their consistency through two major downturns (including the 2009 recession) and a data series re-indexing, as you may notice a new index base year of 2018. The difference between the 10-year average and 12-year average has also remained nearly unchanged.

Like the previous article mentions, “A Sure Thing” rarely exists when attempting to identify future trends in any industry, but NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics Program just happens to have three of them.

The Confidential Shipment 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 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 or (414) 778-3372.

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