MRO Magazine

Flipping to the shiny side

Although there's talk about recession in industry throughout North America, statistics actually point to a significant rebound of the economy in the months and years ahead. Although statisticians will...


December 1, 2001
By MRO Magazine

Although there’s talk about recession in industry throughout North America, statistics actually point to a significant rebound of the economy in the months and years ahead. Although statisticians will say that two points make a flat line and three points make a trend, we’ve looked at spending intentions from a variety of machinery-related industries and can forecast good news in the long view.

It’s interesting to note that the maintenance, repair and operations (MRO) market has shown consistent growth over the past 40 years, interrupted only once by the recession of the early 1990s, according to statistics compiled for Machinery & Equipment MRO magazine’s 2002-03 Trend Report by Peter Helston, the magazine’s publisher ($295; order from phelston@coprorate.southam.ca). In fact, the MRO market has shown remarkably consistent growth at a rate just above inflation in most years.

However, the good news isn’t immediate. The latest stats on manufacturer’s intentions predict that the OEM machinery market will shrink in 2002 and 2003 in most regions, pointing to the fact that Canadian companies need to aggressively develop more external markets for their products.

Labour shortages — of both skilled workers and managers — will continue to be a major problem for employers in the years ahead. Companies will want to start taking good care of their existing staff, as the economy is likely to bounce back surprisingly quickly due to continuing low interest rates and expanding foreign markets, meaning it will be important to hold on to those who have experience and expertise.

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Although the potential for increased inflation rates may be a future problem, industries that are interest-rate sensitive, or energy based, are expected to perform quite well in 2002. In 2003 and beyond, the comeback — the stats predict — will be dramatic.

It looks like the future economy may even surpass the buoyancy we’ve had over the past few years. That’s why we suggest you ignore all talk of gloom and doom, act confidently, and get prepared for the good times ahead.

Bill Roebuck, Editor