The global economy in 2022 was affected by the Ukraine crisis, leading to a surge in inflation. Major countries’ central banks raised interest rates, the yen was at an all-time low, the dollar was strengthening, and the economy was in turmoil. Soaring commodity prices and energy prices have shaken consumer confidence. Pandemic outbreaks in some areas have disrupted the global supply chain. The positive impact of the stay-at-home trend on the air conditioning market is gradually weakening.
After experiencing the negative consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, with vaccination now deployed on a global scale, the reopening of countries, the resumption of tourism, and ongoing economic recovery, the chiller market has shown good recovery momentum. Even in Southeast Asia, the worst hit market in 2020, largescale construction projects that had been frozen for nearly a year resumed. Demand for air conditioning equipment such as chillers has begun to rebound. However, differences among the pandemic prevention policies of various countries have caused significant differences in economic development, resulting in very different growth rates in the main chiller markets in 2021. There are still many countries where the pandemic continues, there are labor shortages, and many largescale projects still cannot be delivered on time.
In 2021, the global economic engine restarted as the pandemic was brought under control to varying degrees in developed countries such as European countries, the United States, and Japan. The investment in refrigeration equipment stagnated in 2020, then skyrocketed in 2021. Of course, not only investment in commercial refrigeration equipment for supermarkets and small convenience stores, but also for hotels, restaurants, and cafes rebounded sharply in 2021, and demand for food cold chain logistics has recovered rapidly.
With the ongoing deployment of COVID-19 vaccines worldwide, countries have adopted active fiscal and monetary policies and other measures, and the global economy began to recover in 2021. However, the decarbonization targets ahead are daunting. It has become a consensus that heat pump technology is essential to achieve this goal. In particular, European countries have formulated and promulgated clean energy policies. Many countries have provided generous subsidies for heat pumps, dramatically promoting air-to-water (ATW) heat pump markets. The global ATW heat pump market achieved an excellent V-shaped recovery in 2021, following the relatively low growth rate experienced in 2020.
VRFs can be used in the residential, light commercial, commercial, and industrial fields. Even during the pandemic, VRF technology continues to gain widespread recognition in the global market, and the number of applications continues to increase.
In 2021, the global compressor market rebounded after a significant drop caused by the pandemic. International carbon neutrality policy has accelerated the replacement of refrigerants. Refrigerant replacement in major global markets and the improvement of energy efficiency levels have promoted the technological upgrading of compressors and have brought tremendous business opportunities to the compressor industry.