Demand for motors were down in the third quarter of 2012, according to industry association NEMA, marking the first drop of the year.
The NEMA Motors Shipments Index fell 19.1% from the previous quarter. The drop comes after a 5.4% gain in the second quarter of 2012 and a 5.9% gain in the first quarter.
The index's recessionary low-point came in the second quarter of 2009, but has climbed 34% since that time. Since then the index spent five quarters above its pre-recession high. Now, however, it has dropped below its pre-recession high.
The NEMA report tracks the markets for fractional horsepower motors and for integral horsepower motors (above 1 hp). The vast majority of motors used as components in appliances are fractional horsepower.
NEMA reported that the fractional horsepower motor market rebounded strongly in the first half of 2012, then fell sharply in 3Q 2012. NEMA said the inflation adjusted dollar value of fractional horsepower motors shipments increased by almost half between 2Q 2009 and 3Q 2012.
Integral horsepower motor shipments declined in 3Q 2012 for the first time since 4Q 2010. The value of integral horsepower motors shipments increased by almost a third over the same period.
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