Credit crunch impact

13 January 2009

According to Hitachi's Toru Sakai, the financial turmoil in the banking sector in the last few months of 2008 had a measurable impact on construction activity.

"Hitachi's machines have telemetry systems and GPS which automatically log and send the working hours. If you look at working hours per week up to October, our machines were averaging 50 hours per week or more here in China. But in mid-October fell to around 30 hours, and then increased to about 40 hours per week in November.

"The market demand in November was 26% less than last year, and working hours were down as much as 40% in China.

"The Chinese government has announced they will spend a lot of money to stimulate the economy with infrastructure work, but of course that takes time. So we think the market may pick up after the Spring Festival - probably from April or May onwards. That's just because it takes time to start infrastructure work. In China that also depends on the location and how advanced the plans are."

"We are expecting the weak excavator market to continue until at least the Chinese Spring Festival," he said.


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