Forklift makers expect to increase sales

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Most forklift truck manufacturers expect to increase sales over the coming year despite growing pessimism over the state of the economy, according to BITA’s latest Forklift Truck Market Outlook survey.

Just over 20 per cent of respondents felt less optimistic about general prospects for the next year, whereas no respondents felt this way in the previous survey that took place in spring 2017.

The research found that just over 50 per cent of those participating in the survey feel that general economic prospects for the coming 12 months remain unchanged compared to 85 per cent of respondents who felt this was the case in the 2017 spring survey.

However, attitudes towards sales remain optimistic. When asked about their firm’s own sales prospects over the coming 12 months, 80 per of respondents expect a modest rise in sales over the next year. However, a small proportion (10 per cent) now expect a ‘modest fall’ in sales. This is weaker than the spring survey, where no respondents expected a modest fall.

“Looking across the last four Outlook reports, overall optimism was high in May 2016, took a dip in the Autumn report, with optimism returning, albeit at a lower level, in the Spring 2017 report, only to dip again this time,” said James Clark, BITA secretary-general. “So quite a rollercoaster ride of sentiment among members – perhaps reflecting the volatility of the political and economic situation.”

Jeremy Leonard, head of industry services for Oxford Economics, who compiled the report said: “Despite Theresa May’s long-awaited speech in Florence, which appears to have helped to unblock the impasse in the Brexit talks, businesses continue to be wary of investing in a climate of Brexit-related uncertainty.”

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