The Construction Products Association’s State of Trade Survey for predicts that GDP growth will halve in 2008, with sales of heavyside building materials slowing up at a faster rate than those of lightside building materials.
According to the report, heavyside manufacturers have seen their third consecutive quarter where sales volumes are falling, with on balance 20% of respondents reporting heavyside sales down over the last quarter. 37% of heavyside manufacturers are seeing decreases of over 5%, while 42% of lightside firms are still enjoying sales growth, on balance, with 38% seeing rises of more than 5%.
Contractors featured in the survey have reported that private housing is the worst affected sector, 48% of respondents seeing a fall. However, whilst private housing was the worst affected in the first and second quarters, other construction sectors are now seeing a slowdown in the second quarter.
The knock-on effect from the private housing sector is starting to be felt in the social housing too, since the sector is now beginning to suffer from its dependence upon the private sector to provide social housing.
Building costs are rising too, with 82% of the contractors seeing material prices rising in the last 12 months, an experience reflected by the product manufacturers, too, 81% of whom have seen raw material, fuel and energy prices rise in the same period.
Further details on the full State of Trade Report are available from the CPA website www.constructionproducts.org.uk