SALES of construction and earthmoving equipment in the UK fell by 12.3% in the final quarter of 2019, compared with the same period in 2018, new figures have revealed.
This continued the trend of quarterly sales declining at increasing rates through the year. Sales for the whole of 2019 showed a 6% reduction on 2018 levels, totalling just over 32,000 units.
The stats were supplied by the construction equipment statistics exchange, which was taken over by Systematics International in 2017 and run in partnership with the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).
While sales were expected to decline after reaching a ‘peak’ level in 2018, the impact of market uncertainty created by Brexit is also thought to have been a factor, along with uncertainty regarding the future of HS2 and other infrastructure projects.
The fall in equipment was mainly driven by mini/midi excavators and crawler excavators, down 10.7% and 4.5% respectively. Conversely, sales of telehandlers rose by 7.2% in 2019, following very strong sales in the middle two quarters of the year.
The CEA said discussion at recent industry events suggests that the market is now showing some signs of improvement, and the hope is that 2020 may see a more stable outlook.