Worldwide equipment sales forecast up 7% for 2017; North America to grow by 6%

Updated Mar 8, 2017

Rb MultipleequipmentOff-Highway Research is forecasting construction equipment sales worldwide will grow 7 percent in 2017. The firm expects total machine unit sales will reach 695,142 this year, compared to 650,133 in 2016.

“Sales of construction equipment last year were affected by weak economic growth worldwide and low global prices for many commodities,” says David Phillips, managing director. “These factors had a knock-on effect for the demand for most types of machinery, particularly equipment used in mining and other extractive industries. However, with commodity prices rising as 2016 went on, sales picked up in a number of key markets.”

By 2020, the firm believes global unit sales will continue to rise until it reaches a peak of 810,321, followed by a slight decline in 2021 to 809,687, representing a 25-percent increase in volume.

Sales figures, however, are expected to reach $89.3 billion by 2020, a 28 percent increase over the $69.8 billion seen in 2016. Off-Highway Research says this will be driven by renewed sales of high-value equipment such as crawler excavators and rigid dump trucks.

For North America, the firm forecasts actual growth in 2017, compared to the 3-percent drop off last year. The same is said for Japan, but Off-Highway expects Europe, which also declined by 3 percent, to remain flat for the year.

Unit sales in North America last year reached 158,925, the highest among the regions tracked by the firm. That figure is expected to reach 168,600 this year. The biggest increase Off-Highway shows comes in 2018, when unit sales are expected to increase 9 percent to 183,785. Growth is forecast to continue in 2019 (199,150 units) and 2020 (209,910 units), until a large decline in 2021 to 196,900 units.

Off-Highway Research forecasts this year the Chinese market will see a return to growth, citing last year as the low point in a five-year cycle of “steeply falling sales.” The growth rate, expected to reach 13 percent, will only be about 30 percent of the equipment sales experienced in 2010 and 2011.

For 2017, the firm forecasts sales of 134,655 units, followed by 144,380 in 2018, 153,375 in 2019, 161,420 in 2020 and 168,750 in 2021.

For India, the firm forecasts similar growth to the 40-percent rate of 2016. This rate was due to “increased investment and a pick-up in project implementation in the country’s infrastructure market.” These factors will maintain strong growth over a five-year span. “As the industry matures, India could emerge as a significant regional manufacturing hub,” Off-Highway reports.

Units forecast to be sold in India for 2017 are 59,295, followed by 65,770 in 2018, 66,270 in 2019, 69,895 in 2020 and 73,470 in 2021.