NFPA’s Numbers Show No Turn Yet

Among all the indicators of the state of the economy, fluid power is unique. Encompassing the hydraulic and pneumatic systems used in industrial and machine tool applications, fluid power touches nearly every segment of the economy as a whole and can help identify business trends in the advance of many other signals.  

The latest data published by the National Fluid Power Association shows industry shipments of fluid power products for March 2020 decreased 13.2% compared to March 2019 and increased 1.2% when compared to the previous month. Mobile hydraulic, industrial hydraulic and pneumatic shipments decreased in March 2020 when compared to March 2019. Mobile hydraulic, and pneumatic shipments increased when compared to the previous month, while industrial hydraulic decreased.  

This information is drawn from data collected from more than 80 manufacturers of fluid power products by NFPA’s Confidential Shipment Statistics (CSS) program. More information is available to NFPA members. For information on membership contact NFPA at (414) 778-3344. 


 Shipments cumlative

The table above is expressed in terms of cumulative percent changes. These changes refer to the percent difference between the relevant cumulative total for 2029 and the total for the same months in 2019. For example, the February 2020 pneumatic shipments figure of -7.9% means that for the calendar year through February 2020, pneumatic shipments decreased 7.9% compared to the same time period in 2019. (Base Year 2018 = 100). 



This graph of raw index data is generated by the total dollar volume reported to the NFPA by CSS participants and compared to the average monthly dollar volume in 2018. For example, the March 2020 total dollar volume for pneumatic shipments are 93.4% of the average monthly dollar volume in 2018 (Base Year 2018 = 100). 


Each point on this graph represents the most recent 12 months of orders compared to the previous 12 months of orders. Each point can be read as a percentage. For example, the 82.6 level of the February 2020 industrial hydraulic series, indicates that the industrial hydraulic orders received from March 2019 to February 2020 were 82.6% of the orders received from March 2018 to February 2019 (Base Year 2018 = 100). 


This graph of 12-month moving averages shows that in March 2020, both hydraulic and pneumatic shipments decreased (Base Year 2018 = 100). 


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