First quarter financial reports are rolling out, and after just four months, signs are pointing to a potentially stronger economic year in 2017 for heavy-duty equipment manufacturers.
Big players in the construction equipment market like Caterpillar, CNH and Volvo all reported positive first quarters with strong growth in Europe, South America and Asia.
In the agricultural equipment market, which has been hurting for several years due to commodity prices, CNH Industrial saw a 10.5% sales increase thanks to strong rebounds in Latin America and continued momentum in the Asia-Pacific market.
But, while the initial signs of 2017 are positive, manufacturers are still tempering their expectations with cautious optimism, citing geopolitical and market uncertainty, as well as continued volatility in commodity prices as potential risks for the remainder of the year.
Strong demand from domestic markets has offset a loss in exports, which will help smaller OEMs, who tend to focus more on domestic markets than larger OEMs that rely more heavily on exports.