The first nine months of 2016, saw global sales of earthmoving equipment reach 496,500, according to new research from leading Italian exhibition organiser SaMoTer.

While the figure represents a 1% drop from the same period in 2015, the latter part of the study period showed the strongest growth, leading to a forecast of 38% global growth over the next two years.

Between January and September this year, a rise in equipment sales was noted in India (+31%) and China (+8%), while Western Europe also fared well (+11%).

In North America, the figures were less encouraging (-3%), while sales in Japan fell significantly (-24%).

In Europe, France showed the biggest sales growth (+42%), with Italy also recovering well (+32%). The UK suffered a setback (-12%), following the Brexit result.

On a worldwide scale, sales of mini excavators rose +5%, and now represent 23% of the global earthmoving market, just behind crawler excavators at 24%.

The figures were presented by SaMoTer-Veronafiere Outlook, a construction industry analyst, working with international economic research and consultancy firm Prometeia.

The research was undertaken with the support of Unacea, the Italian association of construction machinery and equipment builders, and is being seen as an important indicator for the market, ahead of the 30th SaMoTer event in Verona, Italy, between 22 and 25 February, 2017.

Following publication of the figures, a spokesman for specialist market intelligence and forecasting company, Off-Highway Research said, “We believe 2016 will be the bottom of the cycle for global construction equipment markets, although there have been some pockets of growth this year, most notably in India.

He added, “The latter part of this year has also seen the first signs of a recovery in China after five years of falling equipment volumes. We expect the overall global industry will continue to recover in 2017, but it will be a gradual return to health.”

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