Chicago - The 4Q12 PTDA Business Index produced a reading of 50.7, which represents a very slight increase over last quarter’s reading of 50.3. This indicates that the power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) industry expanded for the eleventh consecutive quarter at a slightly faster pace compared with 3Q12.
On average, sales rose 6% in 4Q12, up from the 5% growth seen in 3Q12. Distributor sales growth was also 6% in 4Q, up from 5% in 3Q, while manufacturers also reported sales of 6%, flat from 3Q. PTDA members expect 2013 to be another year of growth, with an average projection of 7%, up from the 6% outlook last quarter.
New to this report are trends in 14 end markets where members were asked to rate the strength of each market they serve. Thirteen of the 14 end markets were reported in positive territory. Pulp, paper & board mills production was reported as the weakest category, while oil & gas production was the best performing end market in 4Q.
[Note: The index reading indicates the rate of change compared with the previous period. For example, a reading of 50 indicates no change from the prior period while readings above 50 indicate growth and below 50 indicate contraction. The further the index is above or below 50 suggests a faster or slower rate of change.]
The table below provides an overview of the results from the 4Q2012 index and a comparison with 3Q2012.
PTDA members expect 2013 to be another year of growth, with an average forecast of 7%. Notably, 83% of distributors and 78% of manufacturers surveyed expect positive growth in 2013.
The PTDA Business Index full report is available through PTDA’s website at www.ptda.org/Index. It includes US and Canadian breakout data in addition to historical data. Conducted jointly by PTDA and Cleveland Research Company, the PTDA Quarterly Business Index is modelled after the Purchasing Managers Index and tracks change in business activity, new orders, employment, supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and backlog in the PT/MC industry to arrive at an overall index.