US demand to rise 4% annually through 2017
US demand for power lawn and garden equipment in the US is expected to grow 4.0 percent per annum through 2017, reaching $10.6 billion as the market rebounds from a slight decline posted over the 2007-2012 period. Driven by an acceleration in GDP growth, consumers will be increasingly willing to spend their disposable incomes on durable goods, landscaping services, and recreational activities such as golf, thereby boosting demand for both consumer and commercial outdoor power equipment. Furthermore, technological improvements, particularly in robotic lawnmowers and other battery-powered units, will spur increased sales as consumers upgrade older equipment.
Commercial demand to outpace consumer sales
Commercial demand for outdoor power equipment will grow at a faster rate than consumer product sales through 2017, fueled by a sharp rebound in demand by landscaping firms. Growth in landscaping services revenue will accelerate through 2017, prompting landscapers to hire additional employees and invest in new equipment in order to capitalize on growth opportunities. While sales of outdoor power equipment to golf courses and government purchasers will also recover from the declines posted over the 2007-2012 period, demand will increase at a much slower rate through 2017 than in the landscaping market. Sales in the golfing industry will be hampered by continued course closings as the market corrects itself from the oversupply issues that emerged in the mid 2000s. Although demand will rise in absolute terms, spending on power lawn and garden equipment by federal, state, and local governments will continue to decline as a percentage of public spending, reflecting increasing public scrutiny and fiscal pressures placed upon many municipal governments by their citizenries.
Turf, grounds equipment to record most rapid gains
Turf and grounds equipment will record the most rapid market gains through 2017, stimulated primarily by an expansion in the number and average size of landscaping firms. Hedge trimmers and blowers, vacuums, and sweepers, products that can often be replaced by non-powered substitutes, will also post above-average sales expansions through 2017 as improving personal incomes and landscaping revenues allow residential and commercial purchasers to buy powered equipment more often.
Improved batteries, robotic mowers to impact demand
Several technological trends will significantly impact the power lawn and garden equipment market, none more so than the introduction of more electric equipment, particularly battery-powered units, in both the residential and commercial markets. While some residential equipment has been commonly powered by batteries for many years, improvements in battery technology will drive increased sales of larger units that use this power source, especially riding lawnmowers. Demand for robotic mowers will also climb rapidly through 2017 and beyond, as buyers increasingly opt for the convenience of these units as prices drop and their performance improves.