The Covid-19 pandemic will see sales of construction equipment fall in almost every country of the world this year, with global sales of construction equipment expected to be down 16 percent, but the picture would be much worse were it not for China, reports market research and forecasting company Off-Highway Research.

Construction

Stimulus spending in China will lift the market by an expected 14% to take sales in China to their highest since the previous stimulus boom in 2010-2011. Prior to the Covid-19 outbreak, sales in China were expected to fall in 2020 as the market passed its cyclical peak.

Off-Highway Research managing director, Chris Sleight, said, “The Chinese market has seen remarkable growth since April and this will certainly cushion the blow as far as the global industry is concerned. We are forecasting a soft landing in 2021, but we are also mindful of the long and painful recession which followed the 2010-11 stimulus boom. I hope the lessons from history have been taken on board.”

If China is removed from the global figures, the impact of Covid-19 is much starker. Volumes will be down 27 percent this year in the rest of the world, compared to 2020. This would take volumes to their lowest since 2010. However, Off-Highway Research expects growth to return in 2021.

“These forecasts are based on two key assumptions,” said Sleight. “First, we assume the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic is behind us and that, if there is a second wave of infections in the Northern Hemisphere winter, actions to address it will be much more targeted than a blanket lock-down.

Off Highway graph

The graph shows historical sales (red), Pre Covid forecast (grey) and the revised forecast (orange)

“Second, we assume that the policy response from governments around the world will remain intelligent and supportive. Viable businesses must be helped through the current difficulties, jobs must be protected and we now look for stimulus spending to reinvigorate economic growth.”

The outlook for the global construction equipment industry will also be discussed during Off-Highway Research’s webinar on 17th November. Sign up for this free event at www.offhighwaybriefing.com