Forklift trucks sales rose 18 per cent to 7,851 in the second quarter of 2014 compared with the second quarter of 2013, according to the British Industrial Truck Association.
The second quarter figure is also up six per cent on the first quarter.
The figures show the market outperforming the sales prediction contained in the BITA 2014 Economic Forecast.
Growth was driven by particularly strong warehouse sales, which showed an overall 15 per cent increase compared to the first half of 2013, reflecting continuing e-commerce development in the UK.
BITA president David Rowell said: “If demand continues to grow at a similar rate for the rest of 2014 we could well be on target for sales of 30,000 for the year – almost back to the psychologically significant 32,000 figure recorded in 2007 before the economic downturn of 2008.”
“It is fair to say that we are now well into recovery, leaving behind us the economic doldrums of 2009 when industry orders dropped below 18,000. The anticipated return to near pre-recession demand levels has taken longer than originally forecast and is big news for the UK materials handling industry. Economic indicators elsewhere are less favourable, but after several years of cautious optimism we can now afford to be more optimistic,” he said.
World Industrial Truck Statistics show that annual orders in the global industrial truck market exceeded one million units for the first time in 2013, with global shipments expected to exceed one million in 2014