The National Association of Manufacturers has reported that the international economy has made tremendous strides over the past few months, and although January suffered a few pullbacks in growth, that progress was mostly sustained as we began 2017. After frustrating stagnation in 2016, the global economy has stabilized and seems to be moving in the right direction. In January, the rate of expansion quickened for new orders and exports, and both are at their highest levels since mid-2014.
At the same time, the employment index has expanded for six months in a row, with the current expansion continuing to be at its swiftest rate since March 2014.
Eleven of the top 15 markets for exporting of U.S -manufactured goods underwent growth in their manufacturing sectors in January.
This good news includes our fluid power industry, which shows strength at least through 2018. This recovery for our industry is most gratifying after a challenging 2016. I'm sure we all hope this period of growth for fluid power will be sustained for a long time.
ConExpo/ConAgg, which also contains IFPE 2017, is the largest and most comprehensive trade fair in North America. IFPE 2017 is dedicated to the integration of fluid power with other technologies for power transmission and motion control.
With a sold-out show that will house hundreds of fluid power component and system exhibits and a comprehensive educational program — including the Energy Efficient Hydraulics and Pneumatics Conference and college-level courses — IFPE promises to be of great benefit to all who attend. There is no better time for IFPE to happen than now because of
• the improving health of the industry across all end user markets,
• the level of innovation taking place by manufacturers and at the Center for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power, and
• the overall level of excitement by fluid power providers and users alike.
IFPE 2017 uses the slogan "The Power of New Solutions,” and the innovative spirit captured in these words reflects the optimism for the near- and long-term future of the fluid power industry. This is an encouraging time for all companies and individuals working in the industry, including manufacturers, distributors, integrators, users, maintenance and repair professionals and even those of us who report on the industry.
We hope to see you at IFPE 2017, where Hydraulics & Pneumatics will officially introduce our next generation of content tools for expanding your customers' knowledge of fluid power system design.