“Industrial Production increased significantly in the first half of 2010 even though factory operating rates (utilization) remained very low by historical comparison," said Hal Vandiver, MHIA executive vice president of business development. "The demand that was created as the economy shifted from recession into recovery mode (filling supply chain pipelines, re-establishing inventories, and responding to pent up demand) was the principal impetus for improvement in the first two quarters in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution.”
"Forecasts are now calling for a combination of reduced GDP, corporate profit, business investment and output growth with utilization remaining below 75.0% until late 2011," added Vandiver. "This is largely due to uncertainty - consumers, investors and business owners need greater confidence in the economy's ability to sustain positive growth."
In addition, material handling equipment shipments contracted 33.4% in 2009 and are forecasted to grow 3.0 to 4.0% in 2010 and another 10.0 to 11.0 % in 2011. Domestic demand (shipments plus imports less exports) contracted 33.7% in 2009 and will grow 1.0 in 2010 and will likely mirror shipment growth in 2011. Exports will be stronger than Imports in 2010 and 2011.
The MHEM forecast of material handling equipment manufacturing is released each quarter by MHIA and looks 12 to 18 months forward to anticipate changes in the material handling and logistics marketplace.