The Power Transmission Distributors Association (PTDA) reported that distributors and manufacturers in North America experienced overall growth in sales in 2007. Confidence in the market (as measured on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being most optimistic) has eroded slightly, holding a current neutral position between 5.0 and 5.8 versus a range of 5.1 to 6.6 at year-end 2006. While still in the positive, growth in sales of PT/MC products is definitely slowing. Following three years of double-digit growth, U.S. distributors'saw a 6.8 percent increase in PT/MC product sales in 2007. The annualized sales-to-inventory ratio for 2007 was up to 7.6, compared to 7.3 in 2006.
Canadian distributors also continued to experience growth in PT/MC sales, again at a slower rate than in the previous three years. Distributors of PT/MC product in Canada ended 2007 with an increase in sales of 1.7 percent. The annualized sales-to-inventory ratio for Canadian distributors showed a slight decline from 7.1 in 2006 to 6.4 in 2007.
U.S. manufacturers of PT/MC products experienced year-to-date sales growth of 3.7 percent versus a more robust growth rate of 7.1 percent in 2006. The same trend holds true for year-to-date orders of PT/MC products for U.S. manufacturers, gaining 1.1 percent in 2007 as compared to 3.8 percent in 2006. The annualized sales-to-inventory ratio increased to 10.0 at year-end 2007 from 9.0 in 2006.
Canadian manufacturers'sales remained relatively flat in 2007, with a change in sales of under one percent. Year-to-date sales of PT/MC products by Canadian manufacturers in 2007 increased 0.2 percent versus a 0.5 decline in 2006. The annualized sales-to-inventory ratio decreased to 6.9 for Canadian manufacturers compared to 7.4 at the end of 2006.
In considering sales growth on a product-by-product basis for 2007, product categories for U.S. manufacturers showed an overall growth in sales with only two product categories experiencing sales declines -variable speed drives and positioning systems/linear motion products. Canadian manufacturers, on the other hand, showed an overall reduction in sales with only three product categories showing sales growth -unmounted bearings, clutches &brakes and standard industrial motors.
Channel Partners Experience Decline in Sales in December 2007 U.S. distributors'sales in PT/MC products have fluctuated all year with six months of growth and six months of decline. Sales in December 2007 dropped for the second month in a row, decreasing 5.2 percent when compared to November 2007. When matched up against December 2006 sales, sales in December 2007 jumped 9.5 percent. With no clear trend in accounts receivable collection days, this ratio experienced a gain of 1.2 percent in December 2007 as compared to November 2007 and dropped 6.4 percent as compared to the same month last year. For December, the confidence index of U.S. distributors reached its lowest point this year, falling 0.4 points (to 5.8) on a 10-point scale from November to December 2007.
Canadian distributors'sales in PT/MC products also fluctuated throughout the year with equal months of growth and decline in sales. After slight growth over the past two months, sales dropped 11.3 percent in December 2007 as compared to November 2007. Compared to December 2006, sales in December 2007 were down by 0.4 percent. Days sales in account receivables were up 1.7 percent as compared to the same month last year and escalated 10.0 percent over November 2007. For December, the confidence index of Canadian distributors dropped 0.3 points (to 5.0) on a 10-point scale from November to December 2007.
U.S. manufacturers'sales dropped in two consecutive months, decreasing 1.9 percent between November and December 2007.