AEM Survey Reinforces Continued Construction Equipment Industry Slump

Jan 21, 2010, 12:59 ET from Association of Equipment Manufacturers

MILWAUKEE, Jan. 21 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Construction equipment manufacturers expect overall business to improve slightly in 2010 following double-digit expected year-end 2009 declines in the minus-40-percent range for the United States and minus-30-percent range for Canada and other worldwide sectors, according to the Association of Equipment Manufacturers' (AEM) annual "outlook" survey. Stronger overall growth is anticipated for 2011 but not enough to erase severe 2009 business and job losses. Business in 2012 is expected to level off.

"Even with a modest rebound in the next few years, the construction equipment industry will still be down by double digits, and there will still be double-digit industry unemployment," stated AEM President Dennis Slater. "This is not surprising given continued instability in the housing market and no long-term commitment to America's roads, rail, airports, water distribution and ports to move people and goods efficiently and safely, and to compete effectively in the global marketplace."

United States' construction machinery business was predicted to end 2009 with a 43-percent overall drop, increase 5 percent in 2010, gain 15 percent in 2011 and 14 percent in 2012.

Canada's business was anticipated to decrease 34 percent for 2009, then increase -- 7 percent in 2010, 14 percent in 2011 and 11 percent in 2012. Other worldwide industry business was expected to close out 2009 with losses of 34 percent, followed by growth -- 7 percent in 2010, 13 percent in 2011 and in 2012.

AEM is the North-American based international trade group representing the off-road equipment manufacturing industry. Each forecast in the survey is the average of responses from companies in each product line, predicting industry wide expectations rather than individual company performance, and unit sales rather than company profitability. Full survey results are online at  (Industry Trends).

"These numbers reinforce the need for our nation's leaders to enact policies that contribute to a vital manufacturing sector overall, not just construction," noted Slater.

"Especially critical is timely passage of multi-year federal transportation legislation. The stimulus package of last year, and even the 'jobs bill' being touted now, are short-term fixes and don't tackle the underlying problem. Long-term transportation investment creates jobs and affects more than construction – all benefit from a safer and more efficient traveling environment with less congestion and lower pollution."

SOURCE Association of Equipment Manufacturers