(L-R) Former BITA president Tim Waples with current BITA president David Rowell.
There has been an 18% jump in UK forklift sales in the second quarter of this year, with 7,851 sales recorded in Q2 2014, compared to 6,615 for the same quarter of 2013, according to BITA.
BITA announced that the figures came from its unique members-only database of industrial truck sales statistics, and outperformed the sales prediction in the BITA 2014 Economic Forecast presented at the association's recent AGM.
Forklift sales in Q2 2014 are 6% higher than in Q1 of this year. The total orders placed for the first half of the year are 15,261 trucks compared to 13,227 orders placed in the first half of 2013, constituting a 15% growth.
According to the association, growth was driven by particularly strong warehouse sales, which showed a 31% increase from Q1 to Q2 2014 and an overall 15% increase compared to the first half of 2013.
This reinforces the prediction that continuing e-commerce development in the UK would have a positive effect on transport and distribution sectors, the association says.
World Industrial Truck Statistics (WITS) reports that annual orders in the global industrial truck market exceeded one million units for the first time in 2013 (Forkliftaction.com News #677)
BITA president David Rowell says: "If demand continues to grow at a similar rate for the rest of 2014, we could well be on target for sales of 30,000 for the year - almost back to the psychologically significant 32,000 figure recorded in 2007 before the economic downturn of 2008."
The UK Office of National Statistics (ONS) records a fall in industrial production, with falls of 1.3% in manufacturing and an estimated 1.1% fall in construction industry output.
"It is fair to say that we are now well into recovery, leaving behind us the economic doldrums of 2009 when industry orders dropped below 18,000. The anticipated return to near pre-recession demand levels has taken longer than originally forecast and is big news for the UK materials handling industry. Economic indicators elsewhere are less favourable, but after several years of cautious optimism we can now afford to be more optimistic," Rowell adds.