Hydraulics to Experience Soft Landing as Economy Slows

Dec. 7, 2023
Ken Baker, CEO of Bailey International, sees opportunities ahead for the hydraulics industry even as the global economy heads toward a slowdown.

The global economy is expected to slow down heading into 2024, likely impacting the hydraulics sector and its various customer markets. Ken Baker, CEO of Bailey International, said he tends to be more optimistic than some in the fluid power industry and believes hydraulics will experience a soft landing as the economy slows.

He said with the expected slowdown, it will be important to monitor inventory levelsfinding a balance between not having too much inventory but also being ready for the economic rebound anticipated in 2025.

When the economy slows, it can be an opportunity for a business to invest in itself so it can be prepared for future growth. Baker said the company and its ownership group are very bullish during these times, expanding staff and making investments in production facilities. For the latter, Bailey has been doing so at its facilities in Montreal, Canada and Knoxville, Tenn. to expand production capacity for hydraulic cylinders, power units and manifolds, among other products.

In this interview with Power & Motion, Baker discusses the market opportunities he sees for the hydraulics industry in the coming year as well as ways Bailey intends to continue investing in itself to prepare for future economic growth.