It seems funny to think that all of the economists two years ago shared such dread when it came to the fluid power market's recovery, after a steep crash during the recession. As I've written about in the past, most companies, markets and whole countries have posted good news regarding their recoveries, the latest coming from Italy.
A press release today from Assofluid, the trade association grouping Italy's pneumatics and fluid power industries, released figures for the industry for the year ended 2010 and for the first two quarters of 2011. According to Amadio Bolzani, president of the association, "The recovery that started in 2010 was consolidated in the first half of 2011 and fluid power's market performance in Italy has climbed back to the levels of 2008."
Assofluid is also co-founder and co-promoter, alongside Fiera Milano, of Fluidtrans Compomac - the Biennial International Fluid Power and Mechatronics Show,which is slated for the Rho Fairground from May 8-11, 2012.
Marco Serioli, Exhibitions Division Director at Fiera Milano, added: "The upturn in those industries shows yet again that the branches of business that grow at a faster pace are those that focus most on innovation and are capable of seizing the opportunities offered by international markets."
The figures released by Assofluid confirm that by mid 2011 Italy's fluid power industry had offset the losses incurred during the crisis and was back to the levels reached in 2008.
In 2010, hydraulics registered overall sales of about €2,145 billion (+ 39.4% over 2009), while pneumatics posted €838 million (+ 44.2% over the previous year). In the first quarter of 2011, the upswing continued, with domestic market hydraulics growing by 34.1%, whilst orders grew by 42.6%. Domestic demand is also thriving, with sales running at a 40.8% growth rate and orders climbing 52%.
The first quarter 2011 registered strong performance in the pneumatics industry alike, with domestic production growing by 31.3% and orders by 28.5%. Domestic sales rose by 33.6% and orders by 31.7%.
The recovery was largely export-led, principally towards Brazil and India, whilst market penetration also registered good performance in China.