Since 2011, revenues for VFDs have maintained flat growth (0.3% CAGR from 2011 to 2013), as European countries have been cautious to invest and export demand from Asia Pacific has provided minimal incentives to invest. By contrast, unit shipments have increased slightly over the same time frame (2.6% CAGR), as lower-priced VFD sales have accelerated marginally during this same period. Although market revenues did not significantly increase in 2013, early indications for 2014 suggest that investment sentiment has improved and is expected to lead to accelerated growth in upcoming years.
According to IHS analyst Kevin Schiller: "After several years of a repressed economic environment, Europe's process markets will recover towards the end of 2014. In addition, the upcoming Energy-related Products Directive deadline in 2015 will spur additional growth in the European variable frequency drives market." As process markets improve in Europe, growth will recover in VFD markets, which will in turn lead to a recovery in premium drives sales. With the exception of Japan, economic activity is expected to accelerate for all major countries through 2016. IHS projects that gradual increases in global economic activity will pick up, to 2.9% in 2014 and 3.5% in 2015.