The construction equipment manufacturing industry expects continued business declines in the US through year-end 2008 of 8.6%, followed by flat growth in 2009 of 0.04%, according to the annual outlook survey of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM).

The AEM survey offers a snapshot of construction machinery manufacturers’ forecasts for overall year-end 2008 and 2009 business in the US, Canada and worldwide.

Canada is forecast to fare better, with business stabilising at minus 1.7% for 2008, followed by 2.2% growth in 2009. Sales to worldwide markets are anticipated to increase 8.5% by year-end 2008 and gain 5.4% in 2009.

The AEM annual outlook forecast covers 72 whole machine product types and 19 types of attachments and components, grouped into seven broad categories: earthmoving, lifting, bituminous, concrete and aggregate, light equipment, attachments and components, and miscellaneous equipment.

The survey was conducted in third quarter 2008 with many of the responses prior to the US financial market collapse. “The overall slowdown of the past year or so, after record expansion, accelerated this fall with a worsening housing market and collapse of major financial institutions in the US. The continued financial turmoil is affecting commercial projects as well. While the strength of the global economy has spurred equipment export growth, we now face a slowdown here as well,” stated Dennis Slater, AEM president.

AEM’s outlook for the lifting equipment sector was mixed, and better than other sectors. AEM said sales of lifting equipment are anticipated to decrease 7.4% in the US by year-end 2008, remain flat (up 0.9%) for Canada, and show gains of 4.2% for worldwide markets. Market forecasts for 2009 are growth of 2.4% in the US, gains of 5.6% for Canada and increases of 8.2% in worldwide markets.

Lifting equipment includes knuckle and telescopic boom truck cranes; all terrain, hydraulic truck, rough terrain and tower cranes; lattice boom cranes; rough terrain and truck-mounted forklifts; and telescopic handlers.

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

To see the entire outlook report, go to www.aem.org

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