After some give and take during the first two quarters of the year, supplier revenues surged ahead slightly in the third quarter of 2013 as the economy in many regions saw stronger activity, particularly in the energy sector, according to ARC Advisory Group. Suppliers to the process industries saw solid gains, while suppliers to the discrete industries enjoyed continued investment activity in the electronics and automotive industries in Asia and North America. Japanese suppliers saw a disproportionate benefit from a weaker yen. New order activity also surged during the quarter, which may signal a strong finish to the year for the automation market.
Compared to the third quarter of 2012, the total combined revenues of suppliers to both the process and discrete manufacturing industries grew by 3.2 percent year on year. Suppliers to the discrete industries saw a 3.7 percent increase in revenues; while process industry suppliers saw their revenues grow by 3.2 percent on average. Among suppliers that report their order intake, overall order activity grew 5 percent on average; process industry suppliers saw orders grow by over 16 percent, discrete suppliers by just under 1 percent.