CLEVELAND - According toWorld Commercial Refrigeration, a new study from The Freedonia Group, world demand for commercial refrigeration equipment is projected to rise 5.3 percent per year (including price increases) through 2008 to $25.8 billion, with developing nations expected to register the strongest gains.

This represents a substantial improvement over the 1998-2003 period, reflecting accelerating economic growth in developing regions, including Eastern Europe. Improving economic fundamentals, especially income level, will bolster most refrigeration-consuming sectors in these regions, it states in the study.

The most promising opportunities are in Latin America and the Asia/Pacific region, where faster population growth and improved standards of living will stimulate demand for commercial refrigeration equipment in markets such as food and beverage distribution, retailing, and restaurants.

Other trends the study notes are that China will record some of the strongest increases, with demand rising nearly 10 percent annually through 2008. India also will post strong gains, as the nation invests in improving the efficiency of its food distribution network. Latin America, in particular Mexico and Argentina, will benefit from economic recovery after the recession earlier this decade.

The developed nations in North America, Western Europe, and Asia/Pacific comprise mature markets for commercial refrigeration equipment. However, the study says, the United States will make a dramatic recovery from a recessionary period, and although the markets in Japan and Western Europe will register below-average gains through 2008, they will see improvements over their performances of the 1998-2003 period.

Publication date: 03/07/2005