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U.S. Aerospace Industry Posts Record Sales, Profits

A boom in civilian aircraft sales, especially commercial jetliners, propelled the U.S. aerospace industry to record sales and profits during 1999, reported John W. Douglass, president and CEO of the Aerospace Industries Assn. (AIA) at an industry luncheon in Washington, D.C., recently. The industry's overall sales rose 4.6% to $155 billion during the year, eclipsing last year's record by $6.9 billion, Douglas indicated. Civilian aircraft accounted for two-thirds of the gain. Leading the way were jetliner sales, which climbed about $2.3 billion to an estimated $38 billion. Profits reached $10.8 billion -- the fourth consecutive year they've topped $7 billion. Meanwhile, according to AIA, military aircraft sales reached $35.8 billion, up from $34.1 billion in 1998. Commercial space generated $7.1 billion in sales, up by $962 million despite a 41% drop in exports because of changes in U.S. export licensing policies. AIA forecasts show total U.S. aerospace sales declining $6 billion to $149 billion in 2000, primarily because of lower commercial aircraft sales in recession-ridden Asia. But recovery in the Asian market will reverse the decline 2001 and 2002, Douglass predicted.

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