This blogger has been on a bit of a hiatus brought on by several factors: the relative quiet of stability in the manufacturing sector, the lull in financial reporting from the industry, and plain old summer doldrum's lethargy.
I have been cheating a bit because readers of the monthly ILS e-Newsletters have been getting sometimes pithy comments in each issue. If you are not subscribers to the e-Newsletters, give them a try - they are free, informative, and contain information you may have been missing.
Manufacturing news has been dull these past few weeks. Other than the woes in China, where that government is trying to replace reliance on manufacturing to raise GNP with the buildup of a service economy, nothing of note that is earth-shattering happened. The auto industry is the one bright light with increased action in China and North America while not in Europe. Go figure.
Quarterly reports came out, and thanks to IPG Photonics carrying the load, the industry's performance was slightly up. IPG singlehandedly carried the day for the industrial laser community with a stunning 26% y/y growth that left even the most jaded analysts scratching their heads. Nice work, IPG, you found the right markets and had the right products.
Rofin-Sinar helped out a bit with micro and macro product sales up, supported by machine tool, electronics, solar, and semi sales. Auto was down in Europe, as noted above.
Other than that, reports were mixed, but nobody has begun to launch the lifeboats.
As for your blogger, the blahs are still hanging around and only the need to shortly present some market numbers at international conferences has my rapt attention right now.