Q3 construction product sales up but exports hit by Eurozone woes

Growth in UK sales of construction products continued in the third quarter of 2014, according to the Construction Products Association’s (CPA) latest State of Trade Survey.
Manufacturers reported optimism going forward and the survey highlights anticipated domestic sales growth over the next quarter and the next year.

However, manufacturers also suffered falls in export sales during Q3, with and 40% of reporting the key reason for this was the poor economic performance of the Eurozone.

Dr Noble Francis, economics director at the CPA, said: “The latest results highlight the strength of the UK economy in Q3, with private sector construction and manufacturing both benefitting. A rise in third quarter sales was reported by 78% of heavy side firms and 50% of light side firms compared with the previous quarter, and all firms reported a rise in sales compared with 12 months ago.

“Furthermore, as recovery in the construction industry has become more broad-based – across private housing, commercial and infrastructure sectors – growth in construction products has become more sustainable and manufacturers are optimistic going forward. Rising sales in the coming years are anticipated by 72% of heavy side product manufacturers and 90% of light side product manufacturers.

“While product manufacturers reported growth in domestic sales, 27% of heavy side manufacturers suffered falls in export sales during Q3, and 40% of manufacturers reported that the key reason for this was the poor economic performance of the Eurozone, the key export destination for construction products. A further 20% of manufacturers reported that the appreciation of Sterling was a key factor in fall in export sales during Q3.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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