Product manufacturers endure slow start to year
April 09, 2018 – Manufacturers of construction products suffered a slow start to 2018, with snowy weather and the liquidation of Carillion both being blames.
The Construction Products Association state of trade survey for the first quarter of 2018 Q1 shows heavy-side manufacturers recording their worst results for five years.
A net balance of 15% of firms reported a decline in sales in Q1, following a previous quarter of falling sales in 2017 Q4. For light side manufacturers, firms reporting growth were matched by those reporting sales declines, giving a net zero score.
The CPA says that construction product sales act as an early indicator of wider construction activity and these results signal a noticeable dip in total industry output for Q1.
The survey found that manufacturers anticipate a return to growth in the coming quarters, but rising costs continue to act as a headwind. 90% of heavy side manufacturers and 84% of those on the light side reported a rise in raw materials costs in Q1, whilst the same proportions reported an increase in wages and salaries. In addition, fuel costs rose for 90% of heavy side manufacturers.