Construction products manufacturers enjoyed a stronger end to 2018 than it started with, according to new figures.
Detailed in the State of Trade Survey Q4 2018, the construction products manufacturing sector ended the year with an increase in product sales and a show of optimism for the industry as it entered 2019.
Released by the Construction Products Association (CPA), the survey results reveal construction products manufacturers recorded healthy increases in sales in the fourth quarter of the year.
For heavy side manufacturers, a balance of 27% revealed a rise in sales, while for light side firms, this total was even higher (50%) when compared with the third quarter of 2018.
Both enjoyed an annual rise in sales, according to construction product manufacturers who responded to the survey, with 55% of heavy side and 21% of light side businesses recorded increased sales.
It is an impressive recovery too, given the weakness in sales at the start of the year which was due to the severe weather conditions that led to sites shutting down for various periods of time.
And growth is expected to rise further, according to respondents; in the opening quarter of this year, 64% of heavy side firms think factory output will increase, while 38% of light side companies feel the same.
The spectre of Brexit uncertainty still looms large, and threatens to contribute to price rises for the likes of raw materials and fuel.
However, Rebecca Larkin, CPA Senior Economist, is pleased that the industry is starting the year “on a strong footing.”
She said: “These results add further evidence that product manufacturing entered 2019 on a strong footing, driven by increased construction activity in the housing and infrastructure sectors.
“Reading between the lines, given the elevated uncertainty over the government’s Brexit strategy, manufacturers’ sales may have received a boost from precautionary, near-term stockpiling further down the supply chain, and this is also likely to have contributed to the optimism over what is an otherwise hazy outlook.”