Survey confirms construction on broad based growth path


Infrastructure growth is helping boost industry workloads. Photo: Highways Agency

Construction product manufacturers confirm the strength and broad base of the industry’s recovery in a key survey released today and expect sales to rise even faster over the next year.


The latest State of Trade Survey from the Construction Products Association finds that 86% of firms expect their sales to rise over the next 12 months, with 76% reporting a rise in the first quarter of 2014. Half expect sales increases of over 5% and half expect to invest in more plant and equipment.


Sales have now risen for four consecutive quarters and are expected to rise even further during Q2, with exports contributing to the growth in demand for products despite adverse currency movements.


The CPA says growth was not just driven by house building, and private sector offices and new infrastructure are also rising. CPA Economics Director Dr Noble Francis said: “Looking forward, product manufacturers anticipate the construction recovery to continue in Q2 and over the next year, again due to growth in housing, commercial and infrastructure.”


Exports of construction products rose in Q1 and industry is even more optimistic looking forward, anticipating a further rise over the next year. With prospects improving in the Eurozone, 38% of heavy side firms and 61% of light side firms anticipate sales rising over the coming year despite the rising value of Sterling.


In Q1 the key concern for manufacturers was rising costs. 65% of heavy side manufacturers and 54% of light side manufacturers reported that costs rose compared with a year earlier. Over 80% of all product manufacturers reported that costs would rise in 2014.


Mr Francis said: “These cost rises were due to energy and transport fuel costs, exacerbated by more recent rises in wages and salaries” of industry workers.