Construction-equipment shipments from U.S. factories will soar 37 percent in 2004 and an additional 14 percent next year, surpassing the peak sales in 1989–90. Net equipment imports are also increasing. Equipment manufacturers report rising order backlogs through September, ensuring that the sales pace will not slow appreciably for several months. A bunching up of replacement purchases largely accounts for the strong sales surge. Capacity expansion purchases are yet to come.
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