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CPA survey reveals further decline in heavy-side sales


Second consecutive quarter of decline for heavy-side products in last three months of 2022

THE latest State of Trade Survey by the Construction Products Association (CPA) for the last three months of 2022 revealed a quarter of mixed fortunes for the construction product manufacturing industry.

Performance was split between a decline in sales for heavy-side producers and continued growth for manufacturers on the light side. Moreover, manufacturers expect these dynamics to persist in 2023, with new-build starts affected by economic uncertainty but refurbishment and activity for energy-efficient retrofit continuing apace.

In the fourth quarter of 2022, some 20% of heavy-side manufacturers reported that sales of construction products fell, marking a second consecutive quarter of decline. With demand viewed as the key constraint on manufacturers’ activity going forward, one-third of heavy-side firms, whose products tend to feed into the earlier stages of construction, anticipated a further decrease in sales over the next 12 months.

Rebecca Larkin, head of construction research at the CPA, said: ‘It was a mixed bag for construction product manufacturers at the end of last year, with demand in some areas of construction knocked by renewed economic uncertainty following the Truss government’s Mini Budget, as well as early signs that historically high inflation was stalling household spending and business investment decisions.

‘This primarily affected heavy-side manufacturers, who experienced a fall in sales for products that are typically used at the earlier stages of construction as demand and confidence weakened for new-build project starts.’

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