Power Electronics

NEMA’s Third Quarter 2002 Industrial Control Business Indices Point to Uneven Recovery

The NEMA Primary Industrial Control Index and the Primary Industrial Control and Adjustable Speed Drives Index for the third quarter of 2002 improved slightly over the same quarter a year ago, according to data collected by the Industrial Automation Control Products and Systems Section of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA).

“Even as they improved relative to last year,” says NEMA’s Steve Wilcox, director, economics, “in both cases, the indexes actually lost some ground compared to the second quarter of 2002, which serves to highlight the rapid declines these industries experienced throughout 2001.”

The Primary Industrial Control Index value of 77.3 represents a 3.5% decline between the second and third quarters of 2002 but translates into a razor thin 0.4% growth over third quarter 2001.

Compared to the second quarter of 2002, the Primary Industrial Control and Adjustable Speed Drives Index dipped just 0.6%. Coming in at 99.6, the third quarter 2002 index posted a solid 3.3% gain over the same period last year. Strength in the adjustable speed drive component clearly boosted this measure relative to the primary industrial control index.

“Production of industrial machinery and investment in industrial structures have continued to slump, and a good deal of manufacturing overcapacity remains,” says Wilcox. “The combined effect of these factors has restrained the growth potential in the industrial control and adjustable speed drive sectors.”

The NEMA Industrial Control Business Indices are issued by NEMA quarterly in two versions. The Primary Industrial Control Index represents U.S. orders for motor starters, contactors, terminal blocks, control circuit devices, motor control centers, sensors, programmable controllers, and other industrial control devices. Because these data have been collected for some time, the primary index illustrates the market’s trend over several years. In 2001, the NEMA data collection program was expanded to include adjustable speed drives, a key energy-saving industrial component. The Primary Industrial Control and Adjustable Speed Drives Index provides a broader measure of the industrial control marketplace. Industrial control equipment, a $2.6 billion U.S. market, is primarily used in industrial applications for the control or regulation—or both—of power utilization apparatus, including motors.

This index represents monthly sales information collected by NEMA from its members, the major industrial control manufacturers in the U.S. market. Detailed information is only available to NEMA members. The data underlying these indices represent more than 90% percent of U.S. sales of this equipment. For more information, contact Walt Kozikowski, industry director, at (703) 841-3262 or visit www.nema.org.

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