We have known for some time that our current economic recession was coming. Now, it looks like there is light at the end of this tunnel beginning later this year in some industry segments and most by 2010 to early 2011.

The Manufacturers Alliance (MAPI) is forecasting that total manufacturing production will fall 9 percent in 2009 and grow 3 percent in 2010. High tech industries are not predicted to outperform the general manufacturing sector. Computer and electric products production is predicted to decline 10 percent in 2009 and post 6 percent growth in 2010.

According to Dan Meckstroth, Chief Economist at MAPI, significant improvement in economic results will be broad-based beginning later this year: “Our forecast does foresee an eventual end to the current recession in late 2009. Another round of federal fiscal stimulus that includes more rebate checks, growing pent-up demand as spending is postponed, lower commodity prices, low interest rates from Federal Reserve monetary stimulus, and declining imports will all contribute to a rebound in industrial production activity in late 2009 to early 2010.”

Material Handling Industry of America's (MHIA) Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing (MHEM) Forecast serves as a good proxy for the equipment based market in the material handling industry. Material Handling Equipment Manufacturing includes:
• NAICS 333921 Elevators and Moving Stairways
• NAICS 333922 Conveyors and Conveying Equipment
• NAICS 333923 Overhead Traveling Cranes, Hoists, & Monorail Systems
• NAICS 333924 Industrial Trucks, Tractors, Mobile Straddle Carriers and Stacker Machinery
Data is collected and reported monthly by the U.S. Bureau of Census according to the North American Industry Classification System (NAICS).

MHIA's MHEM Forecast—March 2009 
MHEM New Orders declined 1.3% in 2008. New Orders are forecasted to decline in the range of 18.0 to 20.0% for 2009 and perhaps another 10.0% in 2010 with recovery to begin in early 2011.MHEM Shipments expanded 5.8% in 2008. Shipments are forecasted to contract about 23.0% in 2009 and 7.5% in 2010.MHEM Domestic Demand grew 3.6% in 2008. Domestic Demand (Shipments plus Imports less Exports) will contract about 23.0% in 2009. After a period of significant expansion, Exports are forecasted to decline in 2009 and 2010 as demand in the Global economy contracts.
The MHEM Forecast is available to MHIA Members at no charge and to non-members for a modest fee.