Hand-Held equipment forecasts decrease for 2006

Although a 4.3 percent contraction is expected in 2006, hand-held blower unit shipments will still remain above 2 million units. Backpack blowers will decline 3.9 percent during 2006, with a shipment level slightly above 550,000 units. Trimmer shipments are expected to remain above 6 million units, despite an overall annual decline this year. Chain saw growth will also experience a 6.3-percent decline for 2006, compared to a 1.2-percent increase just last year.

Despite expectations for significant real GDP growth during the first quarter and strong retail data for January, the prospects for outdoor power equipment will be dampened by the housing contraction that started in the fall. Housing starts will decline by 14.4 percent from 2005 to 2007, according to the University of Michigan's latest forecast, while sales of existing single-family homes will fall by 11.2 percent over that period as well.

The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) Forecast for Outdoor Power Equipment is based on OPEI's econometric model of the industry. The industry forecast is based on the outlook for the U.S. Economy prepared by the University of Michigan.

Source: The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

(Model year [MY] is September to August)
Hand-Held Gasoline Powered MY 2002 MY 2003 MY 2004 MY 2005 MY 2006 (forecast)
Hand-held blowers 5.5 percent 8.3 percent 0.5 percent 10.3 percent -4.3 percent
Backpack blowers 10.5 percent 11.3 percent 6.9 percent 23.9 percent -3.9 percent
Trimmers 13.2 percent 12.7 percent 0.2 percent 3.9 percent -4.1 percent
Chain saws 15.4 percent 5.4 percent 12.1 percent 1.2 percent -6.3 percent
Source: The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)

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