Global demand for bearings is projected to rise 5.5% annually to $42 billion in 2010, accelerating from the 2000-2005 period. The World Bearings report from The Freedonia Group Inc., Cleveland, says the pickup comes on the heels of world economic growth, increased fixed investment activity, higher manufacturing production, and rising aerospace equipment and motor vehicle output.

Developing countries in the Asia/Pacific, Africa/Mideast, Eastern Europe, and Latin America regions will outpace demand in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan. These developed countries will remain the largest users of bearing products.

Industrial machinery accounted for more than 50% of the market in 2005 and will remain dominant. However, demand in the motor vehicle market will be dampened by high pricing.

Ball bearings comprised the largest portion of bearings shipments in 2005 and will maintain this position through 2015. Roller bearings, which comprised nearly 40% of shipments in 2005, will post similar gains to ball bearings through 2010.