State of Trade Survey 2018 Q3

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Following a snow-related pause in Q1 activity and a bounceback in Q2, construction product manufacturers painted a positive picture in Q3. On the heavy side, 27% of firms reported a quarterly rise in sales, down from 40% in Q2, but higher than a balance of 10% recorded a year earlier. Following a decline in sales in Q2, 27% of light side firms reported an increase in Q3. The rebound suggests that light side manufacturers continued to catch-up from the lost activity earlier this year. Despite ongoing Brexit-related uncertainties as we approach March 2019, manufacturers remained optimistic about sales growth for the year ahead. 36% of heavy side manufacturers and 29% of those on the light side anticipated a rise in sales over the next 12 months. Despite the positive picture in Q3, capacity remained significantly underutilised, with 40% of light side firms operating at 50% or below, the highest balance on record.

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