POWER EQUIPMENT DEMAND WILL RISE THROUGH 2009

U.S. demand for power lawn and garden equipment is projected to rise more than 3 percent per year through 2009, reaching $10.7 billion. An expansion of the 55- to 64-year-old age group will contribute to gains, as this group typically trades up from older, less expensive equipment to higher-end products, or increasingly engages professional lawn care services. Growth will also result from product innovations and upgrades, driven by consumer demand for equipment with increased horsepower, additional features and lighter weight. The continued popularity of golf will also present opportunities, as a growing number of golf courses compete to have the best playing surfaces. These and other trends are presented in Power Lawn & Garden Equipment, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based market research firm.

The residential market dominates power lawn and garden equipment sales, representing approximately two-thirds of the total in 2004. However, advances in the commercial market have outpaced the residential market in recent years, bolstered by the tremendous growth in the sales of zero-turn radius turf mowers. In addition, the continuing rise in the number of professional landscapers has boosted commercial demand.

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Although gas-powered equipment will remain dominant, electric-powered products are expected to post significantly stronger gains through 2009. Battery-powered equipment will fare particularly well, as improved battery technology is introduced.

Lawnmowers will continue to be the largest product segment. Turf and grounds equipment is expected to post the best gains, because of continuing growth in the professional landscaping services industry and the rising number of golf courses. Despite the improving durability of original equipment, parts and accessories will outpace the industry average because of the rising amount of stock in use.

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