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The market for low-voltage AC and DC motor drives experienced unprecedented revenue growth in 2007, increasing by 19.7 per cent over 2006 levels, according to statistics from IMS Research.

Data reported by leading drives suppliers indicate all regions and industry segments exhibited strong growth during the year.

The market is expected to continue performing well despite the global economic downturn, with positive growth forecast for both 2008 and 2009, when annual revenue growth should bottom out at 3.7 per cent.

High energy prices and an increased focus on energy efficiency will maintain positive growth of market revenues, which are expected to increase by an average annual rate of 10.4 per cent throughout the forecast period to reach an estimated value of USD13.6bn (GBP9.4bn) by 2012.

Led by infrastructure expansion in China and India, the Asia Pacific motor drives market experienced the largest amount of growth in 2007, and was the second largest regional market after EMEA.

Valued at nearly USD2.4bn, the drives market in Asia Pacific is expected to continue growing at the fastest rate over the next five years.

However, difficult economic conditions around the globe will slow growth across all regions, with most impact felt in the drives markets in the Americas and Japan.

The success of recently introduced government stimulus packages will determine the severity of the market downturn.

Positive growth in the utilities, food and beverage, chemicals and petroleum, and renewable energy industries is expected to offset declines in the metal processing, mining, textiles and commercial HVAC industries.

Jenalea Howell, analyst at IMS Research, said: ‘Growth of critical industry sectors, government legislation and stimulus packages will provide abundant opportunities for the low-voltage motor drives market to come through the recession with positive growth.’

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