Construction manufacturers seek business abroad in light of weak pound

A new survey by the Construction Products Association has revealed an 18% increase in the number of manufacturers exporting goods in the second quarter compared with the first three months of the year.

In the latest state of trade survey, the CPA said that export activity is providing a vital lifeline for the construction industry. A weakening of sterling is believed to be the biggest factor influencing the pursuit of business abroad by manufacturers.

There was an increase in overseas sales by 39% of light side manufacturers while 23% of heavy side companies secured growth.

The association’s survey also indicated growing concern over increasing cost pressures with 95% of firms reporting fuel, energy and raw material price inflation during the last 12 months.

Demand will remain constrained in the UK according to 71% of the respondents.

Kelly Forrest, senior economist at the CPA, said: “Whilst demand for the UK domestic market remains subdued, an increasing number of product manufacturers are turning to exports. These companies are quietly optimistic for the next 12 months.

“However, with consumer sentiment faltering at home and macroeconomic forecasts downgraded once again, there is enormous concern that domestic demand will decline as public spending is cut over the coming months.”