The latest Ernst and Young/ Construction Products Association Activity Barometer, has delivered a figure of zero for the very first time.
A figure of 50 represents ‘no change’ in sales compared to a year earlier and below 50 represents a fall in sales, so zero shows how much both heavy and light side product manufacturers are experiencing falling sales over the last quarter.
Economics director for the Construction Products Association, Noble Francis said: “Although April saw a small respite as the intense destocking in the first quarter of 2009 came to an end and production increased slightly, the increase in sales was very brief and the following months saw a return to the deterioration that was happening prior to April.
“Manufacturers are just as pessimistic for the coming months, returning figures of just three for heavy side manufacturers and ten for light side, as they expect further falls in sales over the next quarter. It is estimated that within construction product manufacturing more than 70,000 jobs have been lost and 12,000 placed on short time working over the past 18 months. With the Barometer anticipating further falls in sales during 2009, additional job losses across the industry appear to be unavoidable.”