Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment showed further growth in the first month of the year, recording a 10% increase compared with January 2022 levels. This followed strong sales in Q4 last year which were 20% above the same quarter in 2021.
The two highest volume products, mini/midi excavators (+8%) and crawler excavators (+21%) both continued to show strong sales compared with the same month last year. Problems associated with supply chain constraints that held back sales last year appear to be fading now, as commented on in Q4 last year when a strong recovery in sales was seen for these products. Sales of telehandlers (for the construction industry) were at similar levels to January 2021 sales in the first month of the year, but this product saw the strongest sales last year, so this was an encouraging feature as well.
The pattern of sales on a regional basis in the UK and N Ireland is shown in the map below for January 2023 compared with the same month in 2022. Similar to last year, this continues to show a very mixed pattern across the regions. The strongest sales in January were in the West Midland (+46%), similar to 2022, followed by Scotland (+35%) and the South East (+32). The weakest sales in the first month were in the North East (-23%) and N Ireland (-21%).
Equipment sales in the Republic of Ireland are also reported in the statistics exchange. Sales in January were 3% above the same month in 2022. This was an encouraging start to the year after sales last year ended up 8% below 2021 levels.