PT/MC Market Outlook Data Reports Mixed Results

July 23, 2008— The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) released the April 2008 month-end trend data for distributors and manufacturers of power transmission/motion control (PT/MC) products, which reflected varying results for U.S. and Canadian distributors.


In the United States, sales of PT/MC products were up 6.4 percent for April in comparison to the previous month. Distributors’ sales increased 11.5 percent from April 2007 while accounts receivable collection days dropped 4.3 percent since March 2008, and U.S. distributors’ confidence index was at 5.8, on a 10-point scale, for the fifth consecutive month.


PT/MC sales in Canada improved by 8.6 percent from March 2008 over its 6.6 percent the previous year. Compared to March 2008, accounts receivable collection days fell 6.9 percent. Canadian distributors’ confidence level was at 5.7 for the third month in a row.

U.S. manufacturers’ sales fell 2.7 percent from March, while Canadian sales experienced a 0.4 percent decline from the previous month. Compared to 2007, sales in April 2008 were up 2.1 percent but were down 2 percent in Canada. The April 2008 orders were down 3.6 percent from the month before while confidence levels fell by 0.4 and 0.2 in the United States and Canada, respectively.


The overall decline in sales is reflected by product-by-product sales from March to April 2008 by manufacturers in both countries. U.S. manufacturers’ sales improved in three categories: gear products; clutches and brakes; and standard industrial motors. Sales declined in variable speed drives, positioning systems/linear motion products, unmounted bearings, shaft couplings, mounted bearings, mechanical drive systems and other power transmission products. Canadian manufacturers experienced negligible losses in April due to positive sales gains in more than half of products manufactured.