Automation Market Dips in Q1 2013

DEDHAM, Mass. — According to analysts at ARC Advisory Group, the worldwide automation market ventured into negative territory in the first quarter of 2013 after posting three consecutive quarters of low single-digit gains in revenues, dropping by slightly over 1 percent compared to the same period in 2012. Suppliers to the process industries saw slight gains, thanks in part to continued activity in the energy sector, while suppliers to the discrete industries have begun to see a bigger reversal in sales as economic uncertainty curtailed investment activities. New order intake fell off significantly for some suppliers as the rebound effects from the global recession have waned and capital investment activity cools.

After several quarters of lackluster growth, the revenues of automation suppliers contracted slightly in the first quarter, weighed down by economic uncertainty and slowing growth in many regions. Compared to the first quarter of 2012, the total combined revenues of suppliers to both the process and discrete manufacturing industries fell by 1.1 percent year on year. Suppliers to the discrete industries saw a 2 percent drop in revenues, while process industry suppliers saw their revenues grow by 1.1 percent on average. Among suppliers who report their order intake, overall order activity fell by 4 percent on average; process industry suppliers saw orders drop by an average of 4.3 percent, discrete suppliers by 3.7 percent.
 

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