AEM: Long-term hopes remain high for equipment manufacturers

By |  April 12, 2023

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The Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) surveyed its members to capture their thoughts on various economic trends and how they are affecting efforts to do business – both within the U.S. and abroad.

Most respondents say they are still experiencing supply chain issues, with many noting that conditions continue to worsen.

“Nearly all respondents still face supply chain issues, with more than half experiencing continuously worsening supply chain conditions,” says Kip Eideberg, senior vice president of government and industry relations at AEM. “The two driving factors that we hear are the current supply chain disruptions and the workforce shortages.”

The ongoing challenges of high interest rates, as well as energy and material prices, have plagued the construction industry, AEM says. But hope is on the horizon for these issues and other to eventually be resolved.

Some of the driving forces and key points from an AEM first-quarter webinar note the following trends:

• Global construction output growth slowed in 2022 and is to remain sluggish in 2023. Interest rates remain high and could rise further in the first half of this year before central banks bring an end to the tightening cycle, assuming inflation starts to fall. Energy and construction material prices also remain high, although some have fallen from the peaks of the second quarter of last year.

• Investment in infrastructure, as well as in energy and utilities, will be driving forces for growth. As the Infrastructure Investment & Jobs Act in the U.S. gathers momentum, investment in infrastructure will be a driving force for growth. Energy and utilities will also provide a boost to overall construction activity, with renewable energy projects remaining a key investment focus.

• The industry is optimistic as it tracks $3.6 billion in projects across multiple sectors. Despite a relatively weak short-term outlook for construction output, there is still a sizable pipeline of opportunities on the horizon over the next several years.

• The decline in construction output is expected to slow in 2023. The U.S. was one of the few markets to register positive growth in 2020 and 2021. However, driven largely by intense inflationary pressure and a slowing residential sector, output dropped sharply in 2022. Despite the deeper-than-expected decline in the residential market remaining a risk to overall growth, there has been an improvement in nonresidential sectors.

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About the Author:

Jack Kopanski is the Managing Editor of Pit & Quarry and Editor-in-Chief of Portable Plants. Kopanski can be reached at 216-706-3756 or

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