This past year has been a solid one for nearly everyone who uses construction equipment, whether highway contractor, mining company, or one of the various other vocations we include in Construction Equipment's Annual Report & Forecast.
Sure, there were supply challenges as the China market competed with North American construction activity. And continuing cleanup efforts in the Gulf states added to that tight market.
Money was released by the federal transportation funding bill, residential and nonresidential construction were hot, and 2006 put smiles on nearly everyone's faces.
This year looks like a continuation, as overall construction spending grows at a rate similar to 2006. There are pockets of caution, particularly in materials production, but equipment users don't see much of a falloff. And suppliers, both rental dealers and distributors, are optimistic heading into 2007.
Welcome to Construction Equipment/Case Construction Equipment's 2006 Annual Report & Forecast. Construction Equipment has reported on the state of the economy and the industry with these annual reports for nearly 25 years.
Each year, we call on the expertise of Construction Equipment's top construction economist for an overview of the nation's economic status. Then, we report on the largest exclusive survey in the industry of equipment owners and managers.
And we don't leave out the distribution and rental dealer side of the equation. This year, we are again fortunate to have partnered with the two industry associations in those areas to poll their members: The American Rental Association and the Associated Equipment Distributors. Thanks to both of these fine organizations.
We mailed the 2006–07 questionnaires in September. Some 11,000 questionnaires were mailed, with about 2,200 usable questionnaires returned for an overall response rate of 20 percent.
As in past years, we promised those who received our questionnaires, and especially those who responded, that we would publish the results for the benefit of the entire industry. This special report contains those results. To those whose participation made the 2007 Annual Report & Forecast a success, we thank you.
We also thank Case Construction Equipment, sponsors of the Annual Report & Forecast for the fourth consecutive year. Case is a full-line manufacturer of earthmoving equipment, and its support of this project has allowed us to publish substantial amounts of data and analysis for your use.