European construction equipment industry optimistic

News Story
- 18 Mar 2021 ( #1017 ) - Brussels, Belgium
2 min read
CECE president Niklas Nillroth
CECE president Niklas Nillroth
Sales in the European construction equipment market fell by 6.4% in 2020, according to figures released by the Committee for European Construction Equipment (CECE).

The falls were cushioned by the performance of high-volume light and compact equipment, whose sales were almost unaffected - down just 3%. In contrast, heavy construction machinery suffered a 19% fall in sales.

Presenting the findings, CECE president Niklas Nillroth focused on the positive aspects of last year's results and this year's expected outcome.

"As we all know, 2020 was the most unexpected and unpredictable of years. From an economic point of view, it represented a year of disruptions with certainties and forecasts crumbling before our eyes. However, as you will see in our report, the construction and industrial sectors in Europe have shown a great amount of resilience and capability to rebound quickly, limiting the damages of the first semester. The foreseeable boost in construction and infrastructure activities from the European Recovery Plan represents another reason to remain optimistic for the near future."

While the short-term macroeconomic outlook remains uncertain, with further risks from the spread of COVID variants, the business climate within the European equipment industry remains positive, CECE adds.

After months of improvement, the business climate index in CECE's Business Barometer survey is significantly higher in March 2021 than at the outbreak of the pandemic last year.

A significant majority of manufacturers expects business to grow in the first half of the year, and the level of satisfaction with current business has also improved significantly. In addition, the order intake for European manufacturers has been growing year-on-year since December 2020 and sales in the European market are also on a clear growth path. This is consistent with the improvement in equipment sales seen in Q4 2020.

The report ends with a forecast of 5% growth in the European equipment market for 2021. "However, against a background of continued uncertainty and high absolute levels of sales, even a flat market in 2021 would not be a disappointment," the report notes.
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