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Research confirms BITA members’ optimism as forklift truck market outlook continues to improve

Members of BITA, the British Industrial Truck Association, are overwhelmingly optimistic about general prospects for the UK forklift truck market over the coming 12 months, and many expect their own firm’s sales to rise significantly (i.e. by more than 10%) over the same period.

This evidence, the result of a qualitative survey carried out by Oxford Economics to inform the twice-yearly economic forecast it produces for BITA members, was unveiled at the BITA AGM on 6 May 2011.

The BITA members’ opinions echo the improving economic environment and the leading role for investment and manufacturing identified in the latest economic forecast document, The 2011 UK Forklift Truck Market Outlook, which is available exclusively to BITA members.

"Economic activity in the UK is gradually recovering," comments Keith Edmonds, Head of Industry Services at Oxford Economics, "but what’s fascinating is how the major drivers of UK growth are shifting in the upswing from household spending and government activity towards investment spending, exports and manufacturing activities in general. This is a marked contrast from the traditional leadership role played by services.

"While GDP increased by 1.3% in 2010, manufacturing ended the year up 3.6%. During the year, service sector activity only increased by 1.1% overall but, within that, wholesale and retail distribution services (a key sector for forklifts) increased by 2.8%. And this pattern of sectors important for forklift demand outperforming the economy as a whole is set to continue in 2011."

Tim Waples, President of BITA, comments: "The balance has tipped in favour of the UK forklift truck market. 2010 orders rose by 23.9% and this year’s first quarter is up 27.7% year on year. 2011 could yet beat previous expectations as stronger manufacturing output stimulates investment spending, generating orders for the forklift trucks that will be required to move merchandise.

"With our members’ optimism confirming the more favourable economic indicators now appearing, I feel more reassured that we have brighter days ahead. Of course challenges remain, but we will face them best by working together, as an industry, supported by BITA."

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