CEA: 2017 a good year for UK construction equipment sales

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Construction equipment sales for 2017 grew by more than 7%, results published by the Construction Equipment Association (CEA) confirm.

Fourth quarter sales last year increased by 7.4% compared with the period 12-months prior. The positive end to 2017 saw approximately 30,000 units sold for the year – equivalent to a 7.6% rise on 2016 figures.

A CEA spokesperson said, “Growth in equipment sales in 2017 was driven by mini and midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes), which are the most popular machine types, and showed nearly 16% growth on 2016 levels.

“A strong house-building market was a key reason for higher demand for smaller machines last year.

“Another factor boosting demand was fleet replenishment within the rental industry, which also helped demand for other types of equipment.

“Overall confidence within the equipment supply chain remained positive in 2017, and seemed to be influenced by the progress made on major infrastructure projects such as HS2 (High Speed 2 – proposed UK intercity rail network), which will provide additional demand for equipment in the coming years.”

UK exports of construction and earthmoving equipment also showed very strong growth last year. Official customs data from HMRC shows that exports reached £2.9bn (US$4.01bn), an increase of 22% on 2016 levels.

This reflects improving demand in many of the major overseas markets, as well as the benefit of the weaker sterling exchange rate. Exports of equipment are estimated to account for approximately 60% of UK machine production, and are very significant for the industry.

Imports of equipment also increased in 2017 to £1.48bn (US$2,04bn), which was 16% higher than 2016, and reflects improved domestic demand for equipment, as highlighted above.

As a result of the above, the overall trade surplus for equipment showed a 30% increase in 2017, reaching £1,.43bn (US$1.97bn).

March 2, 2018

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James joined the Industrial Vehicle Technology International team in 2017. Previously he was Assistant Editor on an engineering title for several years and has worked for various other trade magazines before that. James is happily married and has a young daughter who keeps him busy.

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