State of Trade Survey 2017 Q4
Amid Brexit-related uncertainty and weaker economic conditions, construction product manufacturers reported a mixed performance in the final quarter of 2017. On the heavy side, 6% of firms reported a quarterly decrease in sales, marking the first decline since 2013 Q1. However, on the light side, half of firms reported a rise in sales during the quarter, up from 36% in Q3. All balances were positive for the next quarter and year ahead, but were relatively low, reflecting weakness in new construction orders for major sectors such as commercial. 14% of heavy side manufacturers anticipated an increase in sales over the next quarter, whilst a balance of 30% was recorded on the light side. Manufacturers’ expectations for the next 12 months weakened, with a zero balance reported on the heavy side, the lowest since 2012 Q4.