UK construction equipment sales slow

By Paul Lyons and Leila Steed29 April 2022

Chart showing UK equipment sales quarterly

Retail sales of construction and earthmoving equipment in the UK have continued to slow, according to the latest construction equipment statistics exchange run by Systematics International in association with the CEA (Construction Equipment Association).

Equipment sales in March were 3.5% below the levels in the same month last year. This reduced the increase in sales in the first quarter to a modest 2.7% increase compared with Q1 levels last year, reaching close to 8,700 units.

This slowing rate of growth in the first quarter of the year is in line with expectations, following the very high levels of sales recorded in 2021, which turned out to be a “record year”.

The pattern of sales for the major equipment types in the first quarter of the year is shown in the chart above, compared with Q1 last year. This shows the percentage increases year on year, ranked from the highest to the lowest.

Graph showing 2022 Q1 Year on year quarterly equipment sales UK

Amongst the popular equipment types, wheeled loaders have edged ahead of telehandlers (for the construction industry), to show the strongest growth in Q1 sales at just under 40% compared with 2021 levels.

The weakest start to the year has been experienced by road rollers, showing nearly 40% lower sales than in the first quarter of last year.

The most popular equipment type in the UK, mini/midi excavators (up to 10 tonnes), is showing a small shortfall on sales last year, with sales in Q1 at just under 4% below 2021 levels.

The pattern of sales on a regional basis in the UK and N Ireland is shown in the map below for Q1 compared with the same period in 2021.

Mao showing UK equipment sales by region March 2022

This shows higher levels of sales in most regions, with the North East, Yorkshire and Scotland being the strongest, with sales at 20% to 30% up on last year.

Three regions showed lower sales compared with 2021, with the East of England being the weakest at over 17% down on Q1 sales last year.

Equipment sales in the Republic of Ireland are also reported in the statistics exchange. Sales in March fell back again, showing a 13% reduction on 2021 levels.

This resulted in sales in the first quarter falling short of levels last year, at 1.5% below 2021 levels in Q1.

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