Lift truck production is expected to grow by 2 to 3 percent in 2013 and another 1 to 2 percent in 2014, a sign of stability in the market after several difficult years, the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) said yesterday.
According to quarterly data gathered from its members, 89 percent of those surveyed said they plan to increase 2013 production over their 2012 levels. In survey results from April, members said the forklift market stands at between 179,000 and 184,000 units, compared to 178,904 units in 2012.
Additionally about half of the companies surveyed said they plan to increase employment over 2012 levels, ITA said.
Jim Moran, a board member of manufacturer Crown Equipment Corp. and chairman of ITA, said in a statement that he's "cautiously optimistic" about the industry's prospects. Moran noted that the market is showing signs of sustainable recovery after the 2008-09 recession caused a significant drop-off in demand. "This steady growth shows some stability returning to our marketplace," Moran said.
Moran said the industry is seeing strong demand from the automotive and warehousing sectors, a sign that manufacturing levels remain solid. "Our industry's growth is a strong indicator of growth in the manufacturing sector, and we're selling a lot of products into the automotive and warehousing industries," he said. "Our rebound is symbolic of the economy's rebound."