ROSSLYN, Va.—NEMA’s Primary Industrial Controls Index decreased 1.6 percent on a quarter-to-quarter basis during the third quarter of 2012. The index stands 1.2 percent below its year-ago level but 45 percent above the cyclical trough observed in mid-2009. Nonetheless, inflation- and seasonally-adjusted shipments still remain below their previous cyclical peak. The Primary Industrial Controls and Adjustable Speed Drives Index, a broader measure of industrial controls demand, also posted a slight decline during the third quarter of 2012, falling 1.3 percent following a 1.6 percent loss in the second quarter. On a year-over-year basis the index declined at a 0.4 percent rate.
Although the manufacturing sector experienced a surge of activity in the first quarter of 2012, the rest of the year has not fared as well as manufacturing output fell nearly one percent in the third quarter and has continued to slide into the fourth quarter. Still, the forward-looking ISM manufacturing index for new orders suggests production activity is on track to at least hold steady in the fourth quarter as it continued to hover above the “break even” mark of 50 in November. The manufacturing sector is forecasted at 4.2 percent for the whole of 2012 and just below 2 percent for 2013 before picking up to over 3 percent in 2014. Industrial controls shipments are likely to see a similar trajectory.
NEMA is the association of electrical equipment and medical imaging manufacturers, founded in 1926 and headquartered in Arlington, Virginia. Its member companies manufacture a diverse set of products including power transmission and distribution equipment, lighting systems, factory automation and control systems, and medical diagnostic imaging systems. Worldwide annual sales of NEMA-scope products exceed $120 billion.
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