BITA remains bullish despite economic downturn

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Manufacturing will not suffer as badly as other sectors, despite increased inflation and the current economic situation, according to the British Industrial Truck Association.

The organisation says that while shipments and orders are likely to dip they are not expected to reach the same lows of previous years and should recover reasonably quickly in comparison.

Forklift truck orders are set to drop by three per cent in 2008, but are expected to stabilise in 2009 and increase by 3.5 per cent year-on-year until 2012.

During 2008 BITA expects to see a fall in electric powered truck sales, while sales of internal combustion engine powered trucks are likely to remain fairly static.

The figures were included in the trade association’s new economic forecasting service, which was provided by Oxford Economics.

It also predicts a decline of around four per cent for warehouse products in 2008, with a rise of a similar amount over the next two years.

The 30-page ‘Forklift Market’ publication examines possible short and medium term developments in the industrial truck market, based on trends and predictions for the global economy as a whole.

James Clark, secretary general of BITA, said: “In the current market setting, increasingly characterised by uncertainty and turbulence, it’s vital for businesses to have the best possible perspective on likely economic developments.”

The new service is designed to sit alongside BITA’s existing UK industrial truck sales statistics.

The organisation plans to launch several other initiatives in 2009 that newly appointed president Richard Close said will take BITA down a new track, while remaining consistent with its existing ethos.

Close (pictured), who is chief executive of Briggs Equipment, took up the presidency at the beginning of May.

Former president Brendon Sparks (pictured below right), director of Nissan’s Industrial Machinery Division, has recently retired.

BITA is expected to appoint two new manufacturers to its board in the coming months.

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