Last updateMon, 22 Apr 2019 5pm


Trends & Forecasts

What We Learned at VMA’s 2017 Leadership Forum

The positive forecast Alan Beaulieu of ITR Economics shared was welcome news at VMA’s 2017 Leadership Forum.

“You’re going to like 2017 and 2018,” he said. “Consumers are in great shape, retail sales are at a record high level, housing starts are positive, interest rates remain favorable, employment and wages are rising, and banks are lending.”

However, it is not all smooth sailing. One of the concerns for many in the valve industry is the price of oil, which is still hovering around $50. On a positive note, Beaulieu pointed out that the U.S. has 300 years’ worth of oil reserves, whereas Europe has only about 30 years. That gives the U.S. a decided advantage because it is energy independent.

VMA Sees Limited Valve Shipment Growth for 2017

After a year of little growth in 2016, U.S. valve shipments for 2017 are forecast to gain ground: about 2% for the year. Shipments will be $4.559 billion, a rise of about $94 million over 2016’s $4.465 billion.

“Last year we predicted nearly flat growth for the first time since the economic crash. By comparison, this year’s forecast is a sign the industry is going the right way again—up,” says Jim White, VMA’s chairman, and senior general manager of Curtiss-Wright Valve Group−Industrial Division. “Historically, our industry has made it through every significant economic downfall and come back stronger; it looks like we’re in line to do that again,” he said.

Leadership, Security and the ‘IIoT’ Dominate 2016 Emerson Exchange

If ever there was any doubt that the future of industrial processes rests in the cloud, the recently concluded 2016 Emerson Global Users Exchange (Oct. 24-18 in Austin, TX) put that to rest. In the hundreds of workshops, educational seminars and roundtables, the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) was pervasive and the message was that, by tapping into the IIoT intelligently, industrial companies can achieve top performance and recover more than $1 trillion in operational losses globally.

New Valve Business Realities Highlighted At Annual Meeting

In 2016, there is no “business as usual”, and speakers at VMA’s Annual Meeting offered sound advice to navigate the new reality of 21st century commerce.

The digital landscape is having a huge impact on business, with mobile apps and social media creating a labyrinth for manufacturers and distributors. In the midst of this digital revolution comes the shale revolution, a high U.S. dollar and falling oil prices. While these changes may offer challenges, they are also creating opportunities for those who are willing to embrace them and create a new model for successful business.

Global Economic Outlook 2017

While there are obvious differences from country to country, one could reasonably generalize by saying that what we have today is a combination of low growth, low inflation, increasingly ineffective economic policies, and increasingly destructive politics. Global growth has been stuck below its long-term average for five years; 2017 may be the sixth (Figure 1).

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