Sales of construction products fall in first three months of 2013, CPA survey reveals

Sales of construction products fell in the first three months of the year, the Construction Products Association said today.

According to the CPA’s latest state of trade survey, sales of heavy side products were particularly depressed with the organization blaming the unusually cold and wet weather.

CPA economist, Milja Keijonen said: ‘The poor weather in January and March certainly had an adverse affect on sales in Q1, with sales of heavy side products falling for the fourth consecutive quarter with 39% of firms reporting a fall in sales.

“Despite seeing a rise in light side sales in Q4, volumes were once again lower both on a quarterly basis and compared to a year ago.”

However, Keijonen said the picture was not “all doom and gloom”with product manufacturers expecting sales to catch up in Q2 as the weather improves and  some growth to continue over the next year despite restricted demand”.

Other findings from the survey included:

  • Light side sales volumes contracted both year-on-year and on a quarterly basis, on balance
  • Heavy side markets remained depressed with sales falling both quarter-on-quarter and year-on-year, according to 39% of firms, on balance
  • Both heavy and light side product manufacturers anticipate a recovery in sales in Q2, on balance
  • Export sales continued to grow in Q1. On balance, 21% of light and 15% of heavy side firms reported higher export sales on a quarterly basis
  • Low demand is expected to hinder sales growth in 2013 but raw material prices were also cited as a likely constraint by a small group of firms