Construction and Covid-19: rolling news update

US construction unemployment still below pre-pandemic levels (21 Dec)
US construction employment in November remained below pre-pandemic levels in 35 states and the District of Columbia even though 31 states and D.C. added construction jobs from October to November, according to an analysis by the Associated General Contractors of America of government employment data.

Intermat Paris 2021 cancelled (17 Dec)
Intermat 2021 in Paris has been cancelled because of uncertainties caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Organiser Comexposium said that ongoing public health concerns had made cancelling the event unavoidable.

Haulotte Africa delivers remote training (17 Dec)
Haulotte Africa has held three videoconference training sessions for its authorised regional distributor Premium Group (Le Groupe Premium en Afrique).

Manitou to close plant in Texas, USA (16 Dec)
Manitou Group has announced it will cease operations at its Waco, Texas facility in March 2021. The shutdown will see 148 employees laid off.

Keestrack turnover resilient in face of Covid-19 (16 Dec)
Equipment manufacturer Keestrack is expecting to report positive growth for 2020, despite the impact of the Coronavirus on the demolition, recycling and construction industries. The company, which had previously expected sales to grow by 20% on its 2019 of €119 million (US$159 million), said that it is now forecasting a 7% increase in global sales for the year.

Upbeat Balfour Beatty anticipates dividend payout (14 Dec)
The forecast figure marks a stark reversal of fortune for the UK's largest construction company, which reported a half-year loss in August, citing measures to reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

Ashtead results boosted by Covid-19 sales in UK (11 Dec)
Ashtead Group reported a 7% increase in revenues for the half year to 31 October at its UK Sunbelt Rentals business, buoyed by Covid-19 related sales to the UK’s Department of Health, which accounted for almost 20% of UK revenues in the period.

AGC sues two US federal agencies over PPP loan rules (10 December)
The Associated General Contractors of America (AGC) has filed lawsuits against the US Small Business Administration (SBA) and the US Office of Management and Budget seeking a revision of a questionnaire being used to reassess whether companies were eligible for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Construction key to recovery, says 2050 Alliance (8 December)
A virtual conference, held by the newly-formed Construction 2050 Alliance, saw MEPs and government representatives from a number of European Union (EU) member states discuss post-Covid plans for the built environment – and a new €672.5 billion recovery package.

Bauma China reports 80,000 visitors (1 December)
Around 80,000 visitors attended last week’s Buama China exhibition in Shanghai. It was a reduction of 62% from the 212,500 in 2018, but organiser Messe München said it was a positive outcome given the pandemic.

Sales down for Deere (27 November)
John Deere has released its financial results for the fourth quarter of the year and for the 2020 as a whole, revealing the impact of Covid-19 on the company's bottom line.

Euroconstruct issues forecasts for 2021-23 (26 November)
European construction forecasting body Euroconstruct said Europe’s construction market will shrink by 7.8% this year and will not recover fully until 2023, with forecast growth of 4.1% in 2021, 3.4% in 2022 and 2.4% in 2023.

Global market set for rebound in 2021 (26 November)
Global construction equipment sales will grow in 2021, according to specialist market research and forecasting company, Off-Highway Research (OHR). Although this will be from a relatively low base because of the Covid-19 pandemic, the rebound is expected to be strong thanks to stimulus spending plans.

Engine maker deutz pospones financial targets (24 November)
German engine manufacturer Deutz AG said it is postponing its medium-term financial targets from 2022 to 2023/2024.

Bauma Conexpo India postponed (23 November)
The show has been pushed back for a second time and will now take place 20 – 23 April 2021 at the India Expo Centre (IEC), Greater Noida, Delhi NCR.

SC&RA events to be rescheduled (19 November)
Rising numbers of Covid-19 cases have precipitated a decision from the Specialized Carriers and Rigging Association (SC&RA) Board to move some of its crane and rigging events in the USA to later in 2021.

Speedy Hire recovery continues (18 September)
Speedy Hire has reported a 20.5% fall in revenues for the six months to 30 September but has remained in profit. Customer demand continues to improve, said the company, and the second lockdown in the UK as not had a material impact on its business, with construction and infrastructure markets continuing to operate.

ARA forecasts 13% fall in 2020 and flat 2021 (16 September)
The American Rental Association (ARA) is forecasting a 13% decline in equipment and event rental revenue this year compared to 2019, dropping to US$48.7 billion in the US.

First orders of SiteZone worker distancing device (12 November)
ESS Safeforce has pre-ordered 150 second-generation wearable distancing devices from SiteZone Safety, ahead of the product’s launch this month. The new, more compact version of the wearable personnel distancing systems (PDS) helps workers social distance.

Covid drags down Deutz results (10 November)
Deutz recorded a “sharp overall decline” in business performance in the first nine months of 2020, primarily due, said the company, to the impact of Covid-19.

Palfinger sales down 15% (9 November)
In the first three quarters of 2020 sales at Palfinger, at €1.1 billion, was down by €198.2 million, or 15.2 percent, from the €1.3 billion of the same period in 2019. The decline in sales for the Austrian crane and access platform manufacturer was attributed to the impact of the coronavirus Covid-19.

World of Asphalt cancelled (6 November)
The organisers of World of Asphalt, due to be held in Atlanta, US, in March 2021 have announced that the show has been cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic.



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