CETOP General Assembly 2020 – Economic Outlook Reports

26 Jun 2020

For the first time ever, the 2020 CETOP General Assembly was held remotely on 24 June due to the COVID-19 pandemic travel restrictions. Twelve national trade associations took part, with the BFPA represented this year by Chris Buxton, Sarah Gardner and Yvonne Pearman.

Included in the meeting were short presentations given by each participating country – these were particularly interesting this year as they reflected the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on fluid power in each country, with common themes emerging. The presentations are available to members only (please do not publish externally) and can be downloaded from the Members Only pages of the BFPA website (please contact sarah@bfpa.co.uk if you are unsure of your log in details).


GDP in Belgium is expected to be -9% by the end of 2020 due to COVID-19, with the worst affected months being April and May. There are moderate signs of recovery in June. Fluid power end users have delayed investments and projects with decisions made at higher levels within companies; OEMs have reduced orders significantly and face logistical issues on delivery and commissioning of machines which have affected orders. Q1 2020/2019 fluid power sales were reported as follows: hydraulics -7.9%, pneumatics -6.2%.


GDP in France is likely to be -11% in 2020 (the forecast was +1.3% before COVID-19). April and May were the worst hit months with industrial production diving and unemployment up. January to April 2020/2019 sales indicate: hydraulics -30%, pneumatics -17%.


German fluid power figures had already started a decline in 2019, with the COVID-19 crisis accelerating the downward trend in 2020. January to May 2020/2019 sales figures for fluid power from the VDMA show: hydraulics -19%, pneumatics -13%.


With GDP in Italy forecast to fall by -9.6% in 2020, the country saw the effects of COVID-19 earlier in 2020 than some other countries. Q1 2020/2019 sales figures for fluid power from Assofluid for Italy show: hydraulics -16%, pneumatics -9.4%.


The PMI in Netherlands started to fall in February 2020 as the COVID-19 crisis took hold and April and May fell to around -40% on the PMI. Worst hit industries in 2020 are expected to be: motor vehicles and oil and gas. FEDA only collect fluid power data every six months and therefore no YTD figures were available.


The Norwegian fluid power market is highly dependent on oil and gas markets which are in turn driven by oil prices. Like most other countries, Norway saw a huge fall in the PMI in Q1 2020. Food, defence and wood processing industries are improving now which is encouraging. Q1 2020/2019 order intake for fluid power from HPF in Norway Italy show: hydraulics -10%, pneumatics 0%.


The presentation from Poland was more on general economic data but a similarly very large fall in industrial production occurred in April and the PMI fell to -31.9% so a similar picture to other countries. Poland is strongly linked to the German market and has suffered from the recent downturn in automotive.


Spain was hit hard by COVID-19 with April 2020 being the worst month for fluid power in the country. April 2020/2019 sales indicate: hydraulics -30%, pneumatics -25% but an improvement was already being seen in May, particularly for hydraulics with May 2020/2019 sales indicating: hydraulics 0%, pneumatics -15%.


Industrial production in Sweden fell by 17% in the worst hit month of April 2020 (compared to April 2019), with industrial orders falling a similar amount. Q1 2020/2019 figures for fluid power from HPF in Norway Italy show: hydraulics -8%.


GDP in Switzerland is expected to fall by around -6% in 2020 due to COVID-19, with a depressed automotive market impacting on industry. No year to date figures were available for fluid power for 2020, but 2019/2018 results were as follows: hydraulics -4.2%, pneumatics: -7.5%.


Machine production in Turkey decreased by some 30% at the peak of the COVID-19 crisis, with some companies closed for weeks, and order intake severely affected. Fluid power home market demand in Turkey is expected to fall by around -12% in 2020.


GDP in the UK may contract by around -8% in 2020 due to COVID-19 with Q1 and Q2 the most affected. The UK PMI fell to its lowest level in April 2020 with fluid power data from BFPA’s monthly surveys for January to April 2020/2019 as follows: hydraulics -28%, pneumatics: -9%.

For more information about the CETOP economic information and surveys please contact Sarah Gardner at the BFPA on sarah@bfpa.co.uk