World news: May 2012
Growth in US and China drives global automation market towards $200bn
Despite the economic turmoil in Europe, the global industrial market will expand by 9.5% this year to reach a total value of just under $160bn, says a new report from the market analyst, IMS Research. This growth, driven by the relatively strong US and Chinese markets, will take global sales above the $200bn mark by 2015, it adds.
Machinery production accounts for almost half of the industrial automation equipment market. Early indicators for first quarter of 2012 show that the growth in machine production slowed in most regions, with the exception of the US.
“Several countries in Europe have slipped back into recession in 2012 and, with the potential of Greece exiting the Eurozone, European markets have continued to be plagued by uncertainty and instability,” says IMS research analyst, Sarah Sultan. “Though austerity measures in Europe and in the US have impacted public investment into automation equipment, large declines in these markets are unlikely as most investment in industrial automation comes from the private sector.”
The US economy has improved substantially, with both machinery production and end-equipment markets performing well in early 2012. US machinery production during the first quarter was about 8% higher than a year before. North and South America combined are poised for strong growth in 2012, and were the best-performing region in the first quarter, with growth recorded across several equipment types compared to the first quarter of 2011.
“Combined, the Americas and Asia-Pacific regions account for 65% of the global market for industrial automation electronics,” Sultan notes. “Asia is the largest consumer of industrial automation products, and the relative strength of its economy in 2012 is predicted to lead to spending of $64bn, which represents nearly 40% of the global market.
“Although China’s forecast GDP growth of 8.2% in 2012 is the slowest it’s been in years,” she adds, “activity is expected to pick up in the second half of 2012 due to a recovery in Europe and increased governmental policies influencing industrial automation in China. Resurgence in the Chinese economy will also influence Latin America, which has slowed recently due to a strong reliance on investment from China.”