BITA, the British Industrial Truck Association, revealed signs of recovery in the UK forklift truck market at its 2010 AGM held on May 7 2010.
Compared with 2009, shipments of Counterbalance trucks are expected to increase by 1.8% to 8,500, and shipments of Warehouse trucks are expected to increase by 6.8% to 8,900. Orders of Counterbalance trucks, meanwhile, are expected to increase by 15.3% to 9,800, while orders of Warehouse trucks are expected to increase by 7.8% to 9,766.
The Economic Forecast is prepared for BITA by independent economic consultancy Oxford Economics and is available exclusively to BITA members as one of the key membership benefits. In its detailed overview of sector by sector performance, both in terms of lift truck product categories and customer business divisions, the Economic Forecast predicts a fragile recovery in the near term with slightly stronger prospects looking further out.
2009 market performance
The forklift truck market underwent one of its sharpest contractions in 2009 with shipments falling by over 41% and bookings down nearly 34% as underlying demand diminished in the first half of the year and latter part of 2008.
The Counterbalance market ended 2009 with bookings down 41% and shipments down 44.9% Warehouse bookings and shipments declined by 24.5% and 36.6%, respectively in 2009. The decline in the Warehouse market was not as severe as in the Counterbalance market as customer output did not drop as sharply.
James Clark, secretary general of BITA, said: "We’re heartened by the positive trends evident in our latest Economic Forecast, both in terms of specific economic measures and indicators such as the Purchasing Managers’ Survey, CBI Business Optimism and UK Manufacturing Investment Intentions. These provide a strongly optimistic counterpoint at time when investment intentions remain weak and business sentiment is still a little fragile."
Tim Waples, the new president of BITA, added: "The Economic Forecast and exclusive UK lift-truck sales statistics are just two of the many benefits that make BITA membership so valuable for UK manufacturers and suppliers of lift trucks, and companies providing associated components and services."