UK Construction equipment sales continued to stabilise in November

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Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in November were 4% below the same month in 2019. This follows a shortfall of 3% in October and suggests that sales are stabilising at just below 2019 levels in the last quarter of the year.  The latest update takes sales in the first eleven months of the year to 26.6% below last year’s level during the same time period. This is a further modest improvement compared with the position at the end of October and continues to point towards the likelihood of a shortfall in sales close to 25% for the full year. Construction activity has continued to recover during the second lockdown, and this has supported equipment sales demand in the second half of the year.
The second chart provides the usual update on the ranking of sales of the major equipment types, showing the size of the decline in the first eleven months of the year compared with the same period in 2019. This continues to show that the most popular equipment type, mini and midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes), have seen stronger sales than all of the other equipment types. Sales of mini/midi excavators in the first eleven months of the year are only 9% below 2019 levels. Alongside this, many other types of equipment are also seeing sales recover in recent months. However, telehandlers (for construction only) remain the weakest and are still seeing sales significantly below last year’s levels in recent months.
The construction equipment statistics exchange also covers retail sales of equipment in the Republic of Ireland. In November, sales were only 2% below 2019 levels, and have reduced the shortfall in sales in the first eleven months of the year to 17% below last year’s levels.
* The construction equipment statistics exchange is run by Systematics International Ltd. This scheme is run in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA), the UK trade association.
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