CPA economist, Milja Keijonen said: "After two disappointing quarters, sales of heavyside products fell once again due to difficult market conditions in the construction industry, where output fell 9% in the past year.
"However, sales of lightside products rose in Q4 as the difficult domestic market was offset by strong exports to fast growing Asian economies.
"Looking to the year ahead, both heavy and lightside manufacturers expect this to continue. Heavyside manufacturers anticipate sales to fall in 2013 due to a subdued domestic market, where construction output is forecast to fall by 2.2%. However, lightside manufacturers predict sales will increase in 2013, once again driven by export growth.
"2012 was a difficult year for the industry, certainly for heavyside manufacturers, and 2013 is also likely to be extremely challenging. Lightside manufacturers are going to be heavily reliant upon exports if they are to achieve significant growth in the next 12 months. Yet, risks for product manufacturers are clearly on the downside due to the prevailing economic conditions and the effectiveness of government initiatives to boost construction."
Key points from the survey:
- 13% of heavyside companies reported a fall in quarterly sales, whilst 46% of light side firms indicated that sales were higher compared with Q3
- 9% of heavyside manufacturers experienced a decline in sales year-on-year, on balance, whilst 21% of lightside companies stated that sales were higher on an annual basis
- 72% of heavyside and 79% of light side firms stated that costs had risen from a year ago
- According to 6% of heavyside and 13% of lightside manufacturers, employment fell, on balance. However, improvements in labour market conditions are anticipated in 2013
In our poll earlier this month we asked for your thoughts and predictions on the state of the UK construction industry in 2013 and beyond. You can still vote here.
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