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In the Association of Equipment Manufacturers’ annual Construction Equipment Outlook survey, members were asked to rank several factors affecting future business. The replies recognized the state of the general economy, including consumer confidence and credit availability, plus steel prices and the protracted slump in single-family housing starts, are significant negative factors influencing future sales. A key positive factor cited was the continued strength in export demand. The lack of substantial action on highway funding was cited as a negative factor, with respondents more hopeful for positive results in 2012.
“Action on federal highway funding will bring some stability to an important industry segment,” said AEM President Dennis Slater. “A well-maintained and adequate transportation system is critical not just for our sector but for business and our nation overall; it is essential for the safe and efficient movement of people and goods and to keep the U.S. competitive in the global marketplace.”
AEM’s construction equipment outlook survey stated overall business in the U.S. is expected to grow 18.6 percent compared to last year, Canadian business is forecast to increase 14.7 percent, and industry business to the rest of the world is anticipated to gain 14.7 percent; U.S. construction machinery business is predicted to grow 10.8 percent in 2012, 9.9 percent in 2013, and 8.1 percent in 2014; Canadian business overall is expected to be 9.0 percent higher in 2012, then increase 9.8 percent in 2013 and 7.3 percent in 2014; and industry business to the rest of the world is anticipated to gain 10.5 percent in 2012, 9.5 percent in 2013, and 8.2 percent in 2014.
“In 2011, construction equipment manufacturing kept improving from the depths of the recession as the economy stabilized. Earlier this year it looked like the economy was truly turning around, but we still have some uncertainty, in both U.S. and international markets, and this is hampering stronger, more sustainable growth,” Slater said.
To view final survey results when they are available, visit aem.org.