World pump market growth claim criticised

A claim that the world pump market will reach US$38Bn by 2002 has been criticised by Vivian Woodward of European Industrial Forecasting.

Referring to a report produced by The Freedonia Group of the US which states: “The world market for pumps will increase by seven per cent annually until 2002,” Mr Woodward said: “This is unrealistic, if you consider that growth over the last decade has been around three per cent. The real figures for growth and the size of the pump market will turn out to be about half that suggested by Freedonia – around US $22Bn by 2002, including parts.”

In the UK, prospects for growth differ widely between the potable and wastewater markets. Mr Woodward explained: “The UK markets are essentially driven by investment by the top 10 water companies. Capital investment (in technology) by the water industry has doubled since 1989, largely because of the introduction of more stringent environmental standards.

“This pattern is set to continue, resulting in a buoyant market for pumps used in sewerage and a steady market for pumps used in the clean water sector. Investment in clean water pumps is unlikely to increase dramatically while the UK government continues to put pressure on water companies to decrease water prices.”

Other world markets for pumps, such as oil and gas, are expected to decline, according to Mr Woodward: “We have seen an economic boom in the UK over the last three or four years and at some point this has got to end.

“We have seen a 50 per cent decline in Asian markets since 1997, and with the situation in the US where share prices are tremendously over-valued, if there is any kind of economic slump, the effects will undoubtedly reach the UK.”

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