It’s been a mixed, but nonetheless successful year for the gases industry. If we consider that 12 months ago we would have been reflecting on a 2018 industrial gas year that finally saw our industry return to the kind of growth rates it is more familiar with, after a prior period of prolonged slow growth, to maintain solid growth this year against macroeconomic headwinds is surely a positive.
That provides a solid platform for the industry to build upon in the year ahead, something we may well need if a more cautious second-half of 2019 is anything to go by; I understand from conversations with various people up and down the gas and equipment supply chain that the last six months has seen a sense of hesitancy creep back into the business as a result of the widespread economic and geopolitical uncertainty across the globe.
But before we move on into 2020, let’s look back on the industrial gas year that’s just gone and some of our many learnings along the way. Here, I’d like to share some of my humble observations from 2019, both from developments in the industry and conversations with those within it. This is of course by no means a definitive or exhaustive list, but an abstract of four notable things we learned in 2019.
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