UK construction industry in rude health

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UK exports and imports of construction and earth-moving equipment for the first nine months of 2017 were better than for the same period 12 months ago, reflecting the buoyancy of the market.

Figures for January to September this year for exports were 21% higher than for the same period in 2016, while imports of construction and earth-moving equipment improved by 12% on last year’s results.

The UK market experienced a fourth consecutive quarter of growth after a modest quarterly export increase of 1.3% in Q3 2017, to £723m (US$976.5m).

A Construction Equipment Association (CEA) spokesman said, “The increasing levels of exports of equipment can be attributed to both improving demand in many of the major overseas markets, as well as the benefit of the weaker Sterling exchange rate since the middle of 2016, following the Brexit referendum.

“Higher levels of imports of equipment in the first nine months of the year are consistent with higher equipment sales to the UK market, according to the UK construction equipment data exchange. This shows an increase of 6% in equipment sales in the first nine months of the year compared with the same period in 2016.”

The USA remained the top destination for UK exports in the first nine months of 2017, accounting for 23% of total exports on a Sterling value basis. Collectively, exports to EU28 countries have increased to 44% of total exports on a Sterling value basis in the first nine months of the year, compared with 41% in 2016.

Imports of equipment showed a reduction in Q3, following the same seasonal pattern as the last two years, peaking in Q2 and bottoming in Q4. However, in Sterling value terms, imports in Q3 were 6% higher than the same quarter in 2016, at £342m (US$461.5m). In the first nine months of 2017, imports were 12% higher than the same period in 2016 on a value basis at £1,128m (US$1,522.08m).

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Tom Stone is Editor of the iVT brand – which includes digital and print editions of a quarterly magazine, Off-Highway Annual, and the Advanced Lift-truck supplement, as well as the iVT website ivtinternational.com, which is updated daily with industry news, exclusive features and expert opinion. During his time at the helm of iVT Tom has met and interviewed some of the world's leading industrial vehicle OEM presidents, CEOs and MDs, and takes great pride in cementing iVT's place as the leading forum for debate within the industry, a reputation that his been built up over the brand's 25-year history.

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