European construction equipment remains on the growth path

Published 27/6 at 16:30

2018 was the strongest year for the European construction equipment sector since the economic crisis of 2008/09. Sales in the European market grew by 11%, with the absolute market level now 10% below its 2007 peak.

There has been a growing momentum over the year; after a 5% sales increase in the first quarter (compared to Q1 2017); growth was at 8.5% and 9.4% in the second and third quarter, respectively. The last quarter even saw an unexpected boom with sales growing by 15% year over year. These are the main findings of the CECE Annual Economic Report 2019.


Performance in 2018

Most regions in Western and Northern Europe saw steady growth, which were already experiencing growth, with many of these markets reaching new and historic record levels. Southern Europe, Central and Eastern European markets continued their recovery, and grew at above average levels, whereas Russia confirmed the positive trend of the previous year, with the Turkish market being the negative exception.

Sales of earthmoving equipment in Europe (including Russia and Turkey) grew by 9.6%, thereby surpassing 2008 levels. Sales of road equipment in the European market went up by 12%; similar to earthmoving equipment this saw sales reach their highest levels since the economic crisis ten years ago. Building construction equipment was once more the best performing of the sub sectors in 2018, but as the recovery of this segment continues, the sales growth of concrete equipment and tower cranes is getting less dynamic vis à vis the road equipment and earthmoving equipment sectors. Still, the very positive effect is that after four consecutive growth years, recovery is at an advanced stage despite a still existing and rather strong North-South disparity.


Outlook 2019

The general outlook is not expected to change significantly in 2019. Along with the expanding construction and mining sectors, and backed by growing commodity prices, the global construction equipment industry is expected to remain on a growth path, albeit with a somewhat slower momentum (given that China with the highest leverage of all markets will probably not continue its growth at a comparable pace). Naturally, at the end of what has been a rather long upward cycle, it is not realistic to expect in 2019 the same levels of growth as in 2018. “As a result, the forecast for the European construction equipment market is for sales to be between 0% and -5% in 2019”, says Sebastian Popp, economic expert at CECE. “This would still represent a good year for the industry and is by no means bad news.”


About the report

The CECE Annual Economic Report contains sections on the macro economic situation, the performance of the construction sector, the main markets and main segments of the European construction equipment industry. The report includes information from the national CECE member associations. The full report with detailed figures and graphs can be viewed and downloaded online.

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