The production of lift trucks appears to be growing steadily this year in a positive sign both for manufacturers of forklifts and for the U.S. economy as a whole.
Data gathered from members of the Industrial Truck Association (ITA) shows an estimated expected growth of 2 to 3 percent for 2013 over 2012 figures, with additional percent or more increase anticipated in 2014. In addition, 89 percent of members expect that in 2013, they will increase overall factory shipments of forklifts above 2012 levels.
In spite of the severe impact of the recession on the industry from 2009 to 2010, the forklifts industry has shown several years of promising renewed growth in demand. Members of the ITA hail it as stability returning to the marketplace, and about half of the companies report they are on track to increase the number of production employees this year well above 2012 numbers.
And in turn, good news for the forklift industry is usually good news for the country, as forklift sales often mirror the ups and downs of pallet shipping and the country’s GDP. The lift truck industry’s growth is a strong indicator of growth in the manufacturing sector, and currently many companies are selling a lot of products into the automotive and warehousing industries.
Forklifts are on the rise. Said one member of the industrial trucks industry, "Our rebound is symbolic of the economy’s rebound. We’re cautiously optimistic.”