Table of Contents
US demand to rise nearly 3% annually through 2018
US demand for power and hand tools is forecast to increase nearly three percent annually through 2018 to $12.7 billion. Among professional users, growth will stem primarily from the recovering construction industry, which is being helped by a boom in housing starts. Additionally, the improved outlook for durable goods manufacturing and the expansion of the vehicle park will boost sales. Advances in the consumer market will be supported by the continued interest in do-it-yourself (DIY) activities. Increasing consumer spending and disposable incomes, as well as ongoing gains in the number of households, will also boost demand. However, the power and hand tool industry faces intense pricing competition from imported products, which will restrain value gains somewhat.
Demand for power tools to outpace hand tools
Through the forecast period, demand gains for power tools will outpace those for hand tools, a reversal from the 2008-2013 period. Specifically, electric tools will offer the best opportunity for growth, due to the fact that plug-in and cordless electric tools are widely used both by professionals and consumers. In addition, electric power tools withstand the most intense product innovation, which helps to entice users to up-grade older models with better performing versions. In contrast, product developments for hand tools are generally limited to ergonomic improvement, as the product category is better established and more mature.
Dominant professional market to grow the fastest
The professional market comprised the majority of power and hand tool demand in 2013, and will post faster gains through 2018. These trends reflect in part the greater concentration of expensive power tools in the professional market. Professionals are often willing to pay more for higher quality tools, since the initial investment will pay off over the long run through better performance and longer tool life. In addition, professionals tend to use tools on a daily basis and, as a result, must replace tools more frequently. In contrast, consumers, who are less frequent users of tools, are more likely to purchase tools based on price, and rarely require more expensive versions that use hydraulic or pneumatic power.
US shipments to trail demand due to import competition
Shipment gains of power and hand tools will trail those for demand through 2018, a reflection of intense import competition in the industry, although the significance of imported products varies by product segment. The largest sources of imported power and hand tools to the US in 2013 were China, Mexico, and Taiwan. Each of these countries offers favorable production costs compared to the US. However, there has been some effort from US-based producers to relocate some production back into the US; professional users are often willing to pay a higher premium for domestically produced tools that they perceive to be of higher quality compared to imports.
This upcoming industry study, Power & Hand Tools, presents historical demand data for 2003, 2008 and 2013, plus forecasts for 2018 and 2023 by product and market. The study also details market environment factors, evaluates company market share and profiles 40 US industry players, such as Apex Tool, Atlas Copco, Bosch, ITW, Makita, Senco, Snap-on Tools, and Stanley Black & Decker.
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