Fourth quarter 2012 saw motors demand increase in NEMA's Motors Shipments Index. The 4Q 2012 index grew 6.5% over 3Q 2012. This improvement came after a 17.3% decline in the third quarter.
The index hit bottom during the Great Recession in the second quarter of 2009. The index has climbed a cumulative 30.9% since its 2009 low-point, but has been below its pre-recession high in the most recent two quarters.
The fractional horsepower segment of the motors market saw a strong rebound in the first half of 2012, then fell significantly in 3Q 2012 and fell again in 4Q 2012. Fractional horsepower motors are the motors used most frequently in appliances.
NEMA reported that the inflation-adjusted dollar value of fractional horsepower motors shipments was up by more than a third from 2Q 2009 and 4Q 2012
Integral horsepower motor shipments recorded a less significant decline for the second consecutive quarter.
The value of integral horsepower motors shipments was up almost 2% over the same period.
NEMA said the decrease in the index came along with decreased manufacturing activity. After a 1Q 2012 manufacturing increase, overall production could not top a 2% increase during the final three quarters of the year.
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