Issue link: http://read.dmtmag.com/i/255289
46 | www.cedmag.com | Construction Equipment Distribution | February 2014 Regions ("Three's a Charm: Infrastructure, Energy, Housing Put the Rev in Revenue" continued from page 45) Northeast U.S. Rental Will Outpace Equipment Sales This Year DENNIS HELLER AED At-Large Director Stephenson Equipment, Harrisburg, Pa. As we pass hurdles imposed by regulations and laws, this business remains resilient. The forecast appears to trend in a positive direction. The Pennsylvania highway funding provides the back- drop for an improved state budget for highway and bridge construction and repairs. The continued improvement in housing brings encouragement to our market coupled with the Marcel- lus Shale and related energy projects that are bringing opportunity for the equipment business. Let there be no doubt that the rental business will grow at a rate faster than equipment sales, also providing parts and service opportunities. New York appears to be impro- ving, although still at a slower rate. Commercial property utilization appears to be well consumed, although we do not see much new construction in this space. Keeping an eye on interest rates and inventory utilization will be paramount. There is no better time than now to work on all best practices, embrace change in how we reach our customers and meet the demands in the market. AED remains a best resource for finding out what is happening, how we can maximize opportunities, and keeping abreast of all new information relative to the construction equipment business. The outlook for the Northeast, barring any shock factors, is projected to be better for 2014. More From the Northeast U.S. Contractors Upbeat Over Highway, Bridge Jobs CHRIS PALMER AED Regional Director President, CN Woods December is not the easiest time of year to survey fellow dealers on business conditions. For many, the December tsunami brought on by dealer and customer year-end tax planning, purchasing, and fiscal year end preparation, typically consumes us. Add in a holiday or two, and poof, the month and year are over. Overall, the region's dealers I spoke to seemed to have a strong final quarter with typical strong December activity. Unfortunately, when looking at 2013's results, sales growth over 2012 was modest at best for the majority. On the bright side, many regional contractors and dealers are a little more upbeat about the prospects for 2014. In the public sector arena, Pennsylvania passed a five-year, $2.3 billion highway bill. Maine approved a modest $100 million transportation bond. New Hampshire will consider again an increase in the gas tax tied to the CPI this January. New York, Massa- chusetts and Connecticut have several large bridge/highway projects that will be under construction during the year that will put our equipment to work. In the energy sector, Vermont and Maine have gas pipeline work planned for 2014, as large energy consumers such as paper mills act as anchors for distribution development in more rural areas. The region's housing industry continued to improve over 2012. November '13 new starts were up 23.5 percent over the previous year, and year-to-date increases stood at 25.8 percent. New permits for the month of November were up a whopping 41 percent over November 2012, while year-to-date new permits grew 28 percent over the previous year. CE markets through November continued the midyear trend of double-digit growth in utility/compact equipment with larger GPE equipment remaining mostly flat to down some- what for the region as a whole. Eastern Massachusetts was one of the bright spots in the market.