UK Construction equipment sales in February were 5.5% above 2020 levels

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Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment saw further recovery in February,
ending up at 5.5% above 2020 levels. As a result, sales in the first two months of the year were
2.9% above Jan/Feb 2020 levels, as shown in the chart below. This is an encouraging start to the
year and is consistent with statistics for the construction market suggesting that growth is
continuing. The first significant impact of Covid last year was seen in sales from March onwards,
and this will be taken on board in future comparisons of monthly sales.

The pattern of sales for the major equipment types in the first two months of the year shows
that the growth in sales was driven by excavators. Both mini/midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes)
and other crawler excavators saw growth above 6% in the first two months. Amongst the other
lower volume equipment types, compaction rollers showed an encouraging start to the year,
with sales at 11% above 2020 levels in the early months of the year.

The construction equipment statistics exchange also covers sales on a regional basis in the UK
and N Ireland. The map below shows the percentage differences for sales in the main regions in
January and February 2021 compared with the same months in 2020. Sales in the North West
were the strongest (+43%) at the start of the year, while London (-35%) saw the weakest sales
on a year-on-year basis.

Sales in the Republic of Ireland are also recorded in the statistics scheme, and they have shown
a similar pattern to the UK in the first two months of the year, with sales at 3.5% above 2020
levels.

All data is from the UK construction equipment statistics exchange run by Systematics International.

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