Construction machinery manufacturers optimistic about business growth in 2004

The construction machinery manufacturing industry expects overall business to remain slow through the end of 2003, but then anticipates 2004 growth in the 3% to 5% range, according to an annual industry forecast of the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM). Sales increases in 2004 are predicted for all major product groups covered in the AEM forecast, with the biggest gains in United States business.

Machinery manufacturers participating in the annual AEM “outlook” survey expect construction equipment business in the United States to close out 2003 with a 0.4% loss, followed by 2004 growth of 5.5%. For Canada, construction equipment shipments are predicted to grow 1% by year-end 2003, and record a 3.7% increase in 2004. The forecast for other worldwide business is growth of 0.3% for year-end 2003, followed by a 3.4% gain in 2004.

For its annual outlook survey, AEM polls construction equipment manufacturers for their predictions of year-end and next-year business volume. The AEM 2003 — 04 forecast covers 63 different whole machine product types and 17 types of attachments and components. These are grouped into seven broad product categories: earthmoving, lifting, bituminous, concrete and aggregate, light equipment, attachments and components, and miscellaneous equipment.

The association's report will be available on the AEM web site at www.aem.org.

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