One of the best sources of information about industrial markets and trends is Alan Beaulieu of the Institute of Trends Research ITR. For many years, Alan has been presenting the attendees at the NFPA Economic Outlook Conference, the best information possible on where the industry has been over the past year and what we can expect over the coming years.
The news from Alan is good. What did Alan say? He said that overall, 2011 will continue to show increases over 2010 and 2012 will have a slight improvement over 2011. The next recession won't happen until 2013 and right now it looks like a mild one.
With regard to the unemployment picture, Alan advises to look at the employment figures as an indicator. We may not get back to the 5% level of unemployment for years and, in fact, the new normal may be higher than 5%.
However, we may be on the edge of an inflationary period. This is not at all surprising and also predicted by other economists. All in all, however, our period of prosperity in fluid power will continue and this is great!