Positive Signs for First Half of 2021

U.S. Construction Machinery New Orders were down 3.8% in 2020 compared to 2019. However, a rise in U.S. Real GDP is signaling recovering and increase for new orders in 2021. U.S. Farm Machinery and Equipment Shipments were also down from 2019 levels, but rising commodity prices will lead to increased demand.

Europe Agricultural and Forestry Machinery Production was down 4.3% in 2020 compared to the previous year. A double-digit rise in quarterly Production suggests the first half of 2021 will improve market conditions.  

READ MORE: Heavy Equipment Markets See Positive End to 2020 and Brighter Outlook for 2021 


View the corresponding Equipment Market Outlook charts for more data

NOTE: All data for charts supplied by ITR Economics

Europe Agriculture and Farm Machinery Production [return to nav]
  • Europe Agricultural and Forestry Machinery Production was down 4.3% in 2020 relative to 2019.
  • Double-digit rise in quarterly Production (up 10.6% relative to the fourth quarter of 2019) suggests activity will expand in at least the first half of 2021.

Europe Agriculture Machinery Production

China Diesel Bus Production [return to nav]
  • Annual China Large Diesel Bus Production totaled 20.1 thousand units in 2020, down 37.1% from 2019.
  • Trends in the Major Five Asia Leading Indicator and the China Leading Indicator signal an imminent transition to Phase A, Recovery.

China Large Diesel Bus Production

U.S. Industrial Production [return to nav]
  • U.S. Industrial Production during the 3 months through January was down 3.1% compared to the same time period 1 year ago.
  • Rising quarterly U.S. Corporate Profits and rise in the U.S. Business Confidence Index portend rise in the Production quarterly growth rate in at least the coming months.
Us Industrial Production




U.S. Leading Indicator [return to nav]
  • The Conference Board’s U.S. Leading Indicator edged upward in January.
  • Rise in the Leading Indicator portends business cycle rise for the U.S. industrial sector into at least the latter half of 2021.

Us Leading Indindicator

U.S. Private Nonresidential New Construction [return to nav]
  • U.S. Private Nonresidential New Construction totaled $115.5 billion in the fourth quarter of 2020, down 9.4% compared to the fourth quarter of 2019.
  • Most segments of nonresidential construction will decline in the coming quarters, as nonresidential construction typically lags the industrial sector by about a year. Decline will be especially severe in sectors heavily impacted by COVID-19, such as office and lodging construction. Warehouse construction, which is benefiting from the spurt in e-commerce due to the pandemic, will likely rise.     

Us Private Nonresidential New   


U.S. Construction Machinery, New Orders [return to nav]
  • U.S. Construction Machinery New Orders totaled $32.0 billion in 2020, down 3.8% from 2019.
  • Rise in US Real Gross Domestic Product signals a recovering economy. This bodes well for further recovery and rise in New Orders this year.
    Us Construction Machinery New Orders
U.S. Farm Machinery Production [return to nav]
  • U.S. Farm Machinery and Equipment Shipments totaled $22.9 billion in 2020, down 3.3% from the 2019 level.
  • Rising prices for corn and soybeans, as well as generally rising John Deere and Caterpillar stock prices, bode well for rising demand for Shipments this year.

      Us Farm Machinery




      U.S. Total Public New Construction [return to nav]

      • U.S. Total Public New Construction totaled $350.5 billion in 2020, up 4.8% from 2019.
      • Trends in U.S. Building, Inspection, Surveying, and Mapping Employment indicate limited demand for workers in this industry, which signals potential cyclical decline in Construction during much of 2021.

      Us Total Public New Construction

      North American Rotary Rig Count [return to nav]
      • The annual average North American Rotary Rig Count fell to 500 in January, 53.7% lower than 1 year prior.
      • Oil supply and demand trends and generally recovering natural gas and oil prices suggest the Rig Count annual average will begin rising in the coming quarters.

      North American Rotary Rig Count

      U.S. Defense Industry, New Orders [return to nav]
      • U.S. Defense Capital Goods New Orders totaled $153.7 billion in 2020, virtually even with 2019. Annual New Orders are generally declining from a July 2020 peak.
      • Decline in New Orders was driven primarily by sharp decline in the aircraft component (down 28.3% from 2019).

      Us Defense Capital

      U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Production [return to nav]

          • U.S. Heavy-Duty Truck Production during the 12 months through January was down 35.6% compared to the same period 1 year ago. Year-over-year contraction became less severe in recent months, indicating a tentative recovery trend. 
          • Recovery trends in domestic freight volume and surface trade with Canada and Mexico suggest the nascent recovery trend in Production will persist in the near term.        
          Us Heavy Duty Trucks


          Europe Leading Indicator [return to nav]
          • The Europe Leading Indicator rose further in January.
          • Sustained rise in the Leading Indicator bodes well for recovery in the European industrial sector this year.

          Europe Leading Indicator

          Germany Industrial Production [return to nav]
          • Germany Industrial Production was down 1.1% in the fourth quarter of 2020 relative to the fourth quarter of 2019.
          • The German government extended partial lockdowns until March. The Germany Leading Indicator monthly rate-of-change has flattened recently, suggesting the lockdowns may temper recovery in Production in the coming months.

          Germany Industrial Production