The latest BITA forklift truck Market Index shows that sales for trucks rose by 6% in the first half of 2017, recovering from a dip in 2016.
So far, 2017 has seen two quarters of growth with annualised sales in June of 32,189 units. BITA Secretary-General James Clark commented: “Despite the uncertain economic environment, forklift sales seem to have begun their recover from the downturn seen during H2 of 2016, particularly in the retail distribution sector.”
Downward trends in consumer spending have contributed to the continued fall in sales for forklifts for wholesale distribution (down 9.7%), but sales into the retail distribution sector have seen a large spike in demand (up 35.7% over the last 12 months) exceeding the year-on-year growth in online shopping.
Manufacturing remains the largest single sector user of industrial trucks and has seen a slight increase in market share with industry now making up over a third (34.9%) of sales. The increased output of UK manufacturing towards the end of 2016 helped the improving picture after a downturn in Q3.
Commenting on the role of forklifts within the UK economy James Clark said: “The economic mood has seemed increasingly uncertain with a number of factors casting doubt over UK growth. Despite this, forklifts continue to be in demand, fulfilling their role as enablers of business growth and supporters of the UK economy.”