US demand to rise 5.5% annually through 2017
US demand for circuit breakers and fuses is expected to increase 5.5 percent per year to $5.1 billion in 2017. Gains will be supported by favorable conditions in most of the industries and sectors that utilize these products. Demand will be bolstered by strong growth in electricity generation and ongoing increases in construction activity by electric utilities. In addition, circuit breaker and fuse producers will benefit from solid growth in both residential and nonresidential building construction. Conditions in the manufacturing sector will also support expanding circuit breaker and fuse sales. Production of machinery, motor vehicles, and aerospace equipment will increase at improved rates, and electrical and electronic equipment manufacturing will rebound from the declines experienced during the 2007 to 2012 period. Furthermore, renewed strength in fixed investment spending will drive additional circuit breaker and fuse sales.
Residential construction to be fastest growing market
The residential construction market will post the strongest gains of any market, growing 8.4 percent per year to $290 million in 2017. This will be a considerable improvement from the declines registered during the 2007 to 2012 period. Market expansion will be the result of a major turnaround in residential construction activity, with 14 percent yearly spending increases forecast through 2017. The residential market will continue to be dominated by circuit breakers, as these products have replaced fuses in most single unit homes.
The electric power market will remain the largest end-user of circuit breakers and fuses through 2017. This was the fastest rising market during the 2007 to 2012 period, aided by increases in utility construction spending, and healthy gains are forecast to continue through 2017. Further efforts to update the US electrical grid will aid gains, as will the continued adoption of wind and solar power.
Power circuit breakers to post strongest gains
Circuit breaker sales will outpace fuse sales through 2017, and power circuit breakers will post the strongest gains of any individual product category during that time period. Demand for power circuit breakers will be driven by efforts to update the US electrical grid, as well as by the increasing utilization of these products by independent power producers and nonutility generators. Furthermore, technological advances will support sales of higher value power circuit breakers.
Domestic shipments to improve from recent declines
Shipments of circuit breakers and fuses from US manufacturers are forecast to increase 4.7 percent per year to $4.1 billion in 2017. This will be an improvement from the declines in shipments posted during the 2007 to 2012 period, but overall gains will lag demand forecasts. Growth will be supported by improved conditions in domestic demand and the reshoring of some circuit breaker and fuse-using manufacturing operations. However, manufacturers will continue to face intense competition from producers in regions with lower labor costs, particularly at the lower end of the market. Import growth will outpace export growth, and the US trade deficit in these products will expand through 2017.