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2011 a great year for construction equipment manufacturers

Dec. 15, 2011 - Construction equipment manufacturers anticipate overall business to close out 2011 with double-digit increases over last year in the U.S., Canada and worldwide. Growth is expected to continue but at a slower pace for 2012 through 2014, according to the annual business outlook survey of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers.


December 15, 2011
By Association of Equipment Manufacturers

AEM is the North American-based international trade group representing
the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. Each year the association
polls its construction equipment manufacturer members about anticipated
sales of the machines and equipment that build and repair roads,
bridges, houses, offices, schools and other infrastructure worldwide.

Respondents were asked to rank several factors affecting future
business. 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, according to AEM outlook survey
respondents. 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.

Some highlights of the just-released summary of the AEM construction equipment outlook survey:

For 2011, overall business in the U.S. is expected to grow 18.6 per cent
compared to last year. Canadian business is forecast to increase 14.7
per cent, and industry business to the rest of the world is anticipated
to gain 14.7 per cent.

U.S. construction machinery business is then predicted to grow 10.8
per cent in 2012, 9.9 per cent in 2013, and 8.1 per cent in 2014.
Canadian business overall is expected to be nine per cent higher in 2012,
then increase 9.8 per cent in 2013 and 7.3 per cent in 2014.
Industry business to the rest of the world is anticipated to gain 10.5
per cent in 2012, 9.5 per cent in 2013, and 8.2 per cent 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," stated AEM president,
Dennis Slater.

"2012 is an election year, which does not bode well for meaningful
action in Washington. Both sides are already in full campaign mode, it
seems, and this presents a real danger of a stalling economy," Slater
added.

"Congress needs to focus on manufacturing policies that create and
maintain jobs, not unnecessary and excessive regulatory and tax policy
burdens. That is why we are continuing and expanding our I Make
America grassroots effort. It promotes a better understanding and
appreciation of the vital role of manufacturing to a thriving American
economy: providing good jobs, tax revenues and investment in local
communities," Slater said.

"Action on federal highway funding will bring some stability to an
important industry segment," Slater went on. "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."

Slater added, "Export sales have been crucial to help many
manufacturers get through the recession, and they still contribute
greatly to a positive balance sheets for many companies. That’s why
export-friendly policies such as free trade agreements are important to
keep American companies in business."

This year’s AEM outlook survey summary results cover approximately 40
different types of whole machines, attachments and components. Survey
responses predicted industry-wide expectations rather than individual
company performance, and unit sales rather than company profitability.
The final survey results will be posted online when available on the AEM website.

Related links
Association of Equipment Manufacturers