Global construction equipment sales are expected to fall 19% this year from the 2018-2019 peak of 1.1 million machines to 891,000 units, according to revised forecasts from specialist market research and forecasting company, Off-Highway Research.
The mildest impact is expected in China where Off-Highway Research’s previous forecast of an 8% fall in sales compared to 2019 remains unchanged.
The company says that the Covid-19 impact on the Chinese market was relatively brief and the bounce-back has been strong since early April. In the other major regions of the world, the expected downturn ranges from 19-30% this year.
Off-Highway Research managing director, Chris Sleight, said, “One of the striking aspects of our forecast is the variation from country to country.
“Nations which reacted quickly and were able to control the spread of Covid-19 are expected to see milder impacts on their equipment markets – China and Germany are two examples. Other countries where the spread was less well contained will see more profound impacts in equipment demand.”
Looking further ahead, Off-Highway Research expects a moderate improvement in sales in 2021, but Sleight said there was uncertainty in this forecast.
“Everyone would agree that we are in uncharted territory. Our forecast is somewhat based on the assumption that the second quarter of 2020 will be the worst for the industry and that an improvement will start in the second half of the year in most countries.
”The on-going recovery depends on the safe easing of lockdowns and assumes no second spike in infections. It also depends on robust government policy responses to stimulate activity. Those might be needed for some time.”