The sale of construction equipment rose by almost 8% in 2017, according to the latest figures.
Despite its well documented problems concerning falls in output at times last year, the figures from the UK equipment statistics exchange show that demand for equipment was 7.6% higher in 2017 than was the case in 2016.
Figures showed retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment for the year reach approximately 30,000 units, with the overall seasonal pattern suggesting the second quarter of the year was the most fruitful for sales, while the last quarter was the weakest.
Despite this however, construction equipment sales in the fourth and final quarter of 2017 actually increased by 7.4% when compared with the corresponding quarter of 2016.
The chief driver of this growth in construction and equipment sales was the popularity of midi and mini excavators; sales of these grew by almost 16% last year, with the housing sector’s strength put down as a reason for this demand.
There were decreases in particular sales, including compaction rollers, due in no small part to Highways England’s focus on smart motorways, which involves less work on carriageways.
Confidence exists in the industry too, with optimism in the supply chain positive for 2017. The reason for this is the progress of major infrastructure projects.
The likes of HS2, Crossrail as well significant road and rail investment means the industry clearly sees demand for construction equipment in the future.
For one of the world’s largest manufacturers of construction equipment, JCB, the wider increase in equipment sales has been reflected in increases in salary for staff and the launch of 46 new products.
JCB’s purchasing spend with its UK suppliers increased by 13% in 2017 when compared with 2016, and Lord Bamford, Chairman of the organisation, said: “The industry in which we operate is doing very well at the moment, which is not only good news for JCB, it’s good news for our region and good news for Britain.
“Our spending with UK suppliers has increased substantially over the past year and we are already off to a very strong start in 2018 with a very healthy order bank in place.”