AIA forecasts 2.6% growth for US aerospace industry in 2013

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The US aerospace industry sales will grow 2.6% next year driven by a double-digit jump in civil aircraft revenues, according to a forecast released today by the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).

As Boeing ramps up production on commercial airliners, civil aircraft sales will increase by nearly $7 billion to $67.5 billion in 2013 and offset slight decreases in other sectors of the aerospace industry.

The AIA's projections do not include the impact of a failure by US politicians to compromise on a package of proposed tax increases and spending cuts, which would trigger an automatic federal spending cut of $1.2 trillion in Fiscal 2013.

"Whether a solution is found or not we'll have to ask what kind of message did sequestration telegraph to the world," says Marion Blakey, president of the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA).

The AIA forecast attributes the civil aircraft almost entirely to production rate increases on the Boeing 737, 777 and 787 next year.

The higher output levels will help boost the aerospace industry's trade balance to an all-time high surplus at $63.5 billion.

"It's an industry that remains healthy despite obstacles," Blakey says.

The AIA also released a year-end projection for 2012 that showed a 3.4% growth for the overall aerospace industry, including a $7.5 billion jump in civil aircraft sales.

The results continue a long-term growth trend in civil aircraft sales since 2008, when annual revenues for the industry were nearly $20 billion lower.

Meanwhile, transport aircraft deliveries have increased from 375 in 2008 to a projection total of 593 in 2012, along with an increase of value from $28.3 billion to $46.6 billion.

Total aerospace industry profits over that five-year span have increased from $14.6 billion to $20.1 billion.