The British Industrial Truck Association (BITA) is remaining optimistic on sales of forklift trucks in the UK.
While the UK economy is continuing to grow, spending by consumers looks set to slow down and industrial production is expected to continue struggling, with a predicted contraction of 0.2% for the year.
On the whole, both economy wide investment and industrial activity are forecast to remain fragile, with growth in investment expected to grow by 2.9% in 201, in contrast to 4.1% last year.
Oxford Economics’ Head of Industry Services, Jeremy Leonard, said that in terms of shipments and orders for warehouse and counterbalance trucks, last year finally saw shipments and orders return to the levels seen before the recession.
Mr Leonard said that last year, counterbalance truck shipments increased to over 15,000 units, while orders for this year are expected to grow to over 16,000.
Similarly, the warehouse segment also performed well, with a 14.1% growth in orders in 2015, with a final result of 17,500 units for the year and shipments up to over 15,000 units.
The forecast in this area remains positive and reflects the move towards an increase in online purchasing.
The survey of BITA members showed an optimistic forecast from most of its members, carrying on from the last survey conducted in autumn.
When asked about general prospects, more than 37% of members said they were optimistic for the next year, however that was a smaller number than when the same question was asked in 2015.
In addition, there was a small rise in the number of members who were not optimistic about the prospects for the rest of the year.
Overall, BITA summarised the findings as optimistic, but slightly less so thank in 2015.
Meanwhile, 25% of respondent say they anticipate a modest fall in their company’s sales, but a similar amount conversely predict their sales to rise.