The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (Arlington, Virginia, U.S.) Forecast for Outdoor Power Equipment reports that the prospects for U.S. shipments of outdoor power equipment will be dampened by the housing contraction that started in the fall of 2005. This outlook comes despite strong national retail data for January and expectations for significant real GDP growth during the first quarter of 2006.
In gasoline powered hand-held products, OPEI forecasts:
hand-held blower unit shipments will contract 4.3 percent, although the category will remain above 2 million units
backpack blowers growth will contract 3.9 percent in calendar 2006, with shipments ending the year at slightly above 550,000 units
trimmer shipments will remain above 6 million units in the face of an overall annual decline in 2006
chain saw growth will experience a 6.3 percent decline
In consumer and commercial products, OPEI forecasts:
consumer walk-behind mower shipments will fall 3.0 percent to 6.2 million units during the 2006 model year
consumer riding mowers will decline 2.0 percent to just under 1.9 million units
commercial turf care walk-behind mowers will decline slightly during the model year,
commercial riders will only grow 1.1 percent
combined commercial products will close the year at a level slightly above 242,000 units
Forecasts are based on OPEI’s econometric model of the industry. The statistical model links the industry with the national economy. The industry forecast is based on the outlook for the U.S. economy prepared by the University of Michigan. OPEI said housing starts, in the University of Michigan’s latest forecast, will decline by 14.4 percent from 2005 to 2007, with sales of existing single family homes slipping by 11.2 percent over that period.
to Daily News