The Construction Products Association's latest State of Trade Survey saw sales for both the heavy side firms (44 per cent) and light side firms (87 per cent) in the final quarter of 2014. The association also found that the majority predict continued growth this year, which is good news for the construction industry.
A net balance of 61 per cent of heavy side product manufacturers and 60 per cent of light side product manufacturers agreed that sales would continue to rise during 2015. These figures reflect the optimism that is currently being felt in the construction sector.
While firms also reported growing costs in Q4, this was eased by the falling price of oil. The survey saw firms record the lowest drop in fuel prices ever recorded.
Construction Products Association economist, Rebecca Larkin, commented: “The latest survey results reflect the fact that the recovery in construction is broadening from private housing to commercial, industrial and infrastructure. Growth in sales of construction products was reported by both heavy side and light side manufacturers, suggesting increased activity at all stages of the building process.
“Sales growth in Q4 was also supported by favourable exchange rate conditions, which helped drive external demand from outside the Eurozone. Furthermore, against this backdrop, more than half of heavy and light side manufacturers anticipate exports will continue to rise over the next 12 months.”
She added that during the fourth quarter of 2014 companies responded positively to the higher sales in the hiring of more staff. The future also looks bright in terms of growing workforces, with 61 per cent of heavy side firms and 40 per cent of light side firms saying that they will be looking to increase total employees in the coming year.