27 February 2019

CPA updates: ‘Growth continues with positive outlook for 2019’

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TRADA members can now download the Construction Industry Forecast Winter 2018/2019, Construction Trade Survey February 2019 and State of Trade Survey 2018 Q4 for free from the TRADA website.


These documents are made available from the Construction Products Association (CPA) and are intended to provide information, analysis and forecasts covering all aspects of the construction sector, providing you with insight about the industry.


The highlights have been shared below.


State of Trade Survey 2018 Q4 – Key points


  • 27% of heavy side firms and half of light side firms reported that sales rose during the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • 73% of heavy side product manufacturers and 35% of light side product manufacturers reported that they anticipated sales rising over the coming year.
  • Cost increases were reported by 80% of heavy side manufacturers and 74% of those on the light side, the highest balances since Q1.
  • Wages and salaries drove cost inflation, according to 82% of heavy side firms and 94% of light side firms.
  • Export growth remained weak in Q4, with the light side reporting a second consecutive quarter of decline.



Construction Industry Forecast Winter 2018/2019 – Key points


  • Construction output to rise by 0.3% in 2019 and 1.6% in 2020
  • Private housing starts to rise 2.0% in 2019 and 1.0% in 2020
  • Offices construction to decline 20.0% in 2019 and 2.0% in 2020
  • Retail construction to fall 4.0% in 2019 and remain flat (0.0%) in 2020
  • Infrastructure work to rise by 8.8% in 2019 and 7.7% in 2020



Construction Trade Survey February 2019 – Key points


  • The final quarter of 2018 was a mixed one for the construction industry.
  • Product manufacturers reported rises in sales and workloads increased for SME builders.
  • Output was reported lower for main contractors and specialist contractors, whilst workloads declined for civil engineers during the quarter.
  • The weakness in contractors’ workloads was broad-based across sectors from private housing to commercial, whilst for civil engineers, the decreases in activity were reported in seven out of ten infrastructure sub-sectors, including local roads and railways.
  • Product manufacturers remain optimistic, with expectations of rising sales over the next 12 months.
  • Main contractors’ order books for all new build sectors were reported to be lower in Q4, whereas order books for housing R&M were reported to have increased compared to the previous quarter.
  • On balance, enquiries increased for 14% of SME builders in Q4, but this was the lowest in two years, whilst new orders declined for 8% of civil engineers, despite major projects in the infrastructure sector.
  • Orders rose for specialist contractors, in contrast to a fall in enquiries.