More construction firms are purchasing and leasing equipment in 2014 than last year. Just in the U.S., contractors plan on purchasing more equipment in 2014. In fact, 73 percent of firms anticipate buying equipment and 86 percent plan to lease items, according to The Associated General Contractors of America's survey, "Optimism Returns: The 2014 Construction Hiring and Business Outlook." Additionally, 44 percent of companies say they will invest $250,000 or less and 53 percent plan to limit leasing purchases to $250,000.
In general, construction firms are more optimistic about equipment purchasing and leasing than last year. In 2013, only 64 percent of firms planned to buy items and 77 percent said they anticipated leasing new equipment.
Since construction firms are investing in new assets, sales are rising. Specialist consultant Off-Highway Research projects that sales of equipment in China, Europe, India, Japan and North America will jump 5 percent this year. In 2013, sales in these countries totaled 713,363 machines. This year, construction sales specialists expect to see 747,000 equipment items sold.
In North America, Off-High Research anticipates a 5.7 percent jump in sales in the market, which accounts for 162,660 machines sold in 2014, International Construction reported. The world's largest maker of construction equipment, Caterpillar Inc., is enjoying this positive trend. In the first quarter per shares, the company experienced a $1.44 increase from $1.31 in 2013. Caterpillar Inc. expects the sales of the construction industry to increase 10 percent from 2013. This is more than previous expectations of just 5 percent.
"We're lowering costs, improving cash flow and driving value for our customers through the continued deployment of our lean manufacturing initiatives," said Caterpillar Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Doug Oberhelman. "We see the benefits of these actions in our first-quarter results and in improving market position for many of our products."
Despite these positive numbers, Caterpillar Inc. reported that the global economy remains fragile and one or two pitfalls could affect the international economic recovery.