European market for bearings to lag recovery seen in USA

Paul Boughton
After suffering a tumultuous 2009, the bearings industry looks set to return to growth in 2010, according to a new report by IMS Research.
The Americas market for ball and roller bearings – worth an estimated $8.8billion in 2008 – shrank by almost 17 per cent in 2009. However, the unprecedented size of the 2008 decline in USA vehicle production, along with a resilient and rapidly expanding Brazilian market, should result in a swift recovery according to report author, Craig Foster. Sales of ball and roller bearings are therefore predicted to grow by 5.1 per cent in 2010, and surpass 2008 levels in 2012.
Having entered the downturn later than the Americas, European production of vehicles and machinery is expected to remain relatively flat in 2010. Because of this, the EMEA market for bearings – worth over $4billion more than its American equivalent in 2008 – is forecast to grow by just 0.5 per cent in 2010 and will not return to 2008 levels until 2013 at the earliest.
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