Markets: Impacts of the economic crisis

It is difficult to assess the exact effects of the recession on the refrigeration sector. However, some predictions or figures are of interest. - In a report dated February 2009, SummitSkills looks at the potential impacts of the recession in the UK on the building services engineering (BSE) sector, including refrigeration and air conditioning, in 2009. Fifty-six BSE consultancy companies took part in the research. Most of them (61%) expect the recession to last for two years, until the end of 2010. SummitSkills estimates that out of 27 821 operatives in refrigeration and air conditioning in 2008, there could be between 18% job losses in the best case and 42% in the worst case in 2009. These figures are in line with job losses predicted for the whole BSE sector. - Regarding air conditioning, according to JARN, Europe is probably the most severely affected area. Industry insiders predict that the European market will be reduced by more than 30% in 2009 with the exception of a few countries such as Turkey. The US market is also predicted to decrease markedly in 2009: by 25% for unitary equipment and 30% for window-type equipment. Chinese and Japanese air-conditioning markets could be less affected: about -5% in 2009. - Moreover, during the 12th Cold Chain Logistics Education Program in Amsterdam (see above), despite the economic recession, European cold store and refrigerated warehouse operators were moderately optimistic about the future. They considered that until now, the current crisis has not yet had a negative effect on the industry and a majority of the warehouse operators present at the event indicated that they expected to increase revenue this year. This optimism is based on the growing demand for frozen food, lower energy prices, decreased energy consumption, and increasing demand for services of third-party logistics (3PL) specialists.