Sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in the UK grew 7.6% in 2017 compared to a year earlier, reaching around 30,000 units, according to the Construction Equipment Association (CEA).

Cea q3 results

The market for 2017 was said to be seasonal, reaching a peak during the second quarter, but bottoming in the final quarter. Growth was driven by mini and midi excavator sales – up to 10 tonnes – which increased 16% on 2016, and a strong housing market was said to be the key reason for demand.

Capital expenditure in rental fleets across the UK was also reported to be a strong factor in machine sales growth. The rental industry accounts for over 60% of equipment supply in the UK, which is more significant than in any other European market, according to the CEA.

UK exports of construction and earthmoving equipment also showed strong growth in 2017, reaching £2.91 billion (€3.28 billion), meaning an increase of 22%. Imports of equipment grew 16% for 2017, to £1.48 billion (€1.67 billion), resulting in a trade surplus of £1.42 billion (€1.6 billion) – a 30% year-on-year increase.

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