Materials sales higher than expected, CPA figures say

Private housing driving increase

Sales among construction products firms over the past three months have been much higher than expected, the Construction Product Association’s (CPA) latest State of Trade survey has said.

A third of heavy side firms and nearly a half – 48% – of light side firms reported sales were up in Q3 compared to the previous quarter, which spanned the height of the covid-19 lockdown from April to June.

Just 13% of heavy side firms and 9% of light side firms expected sales in Q3 to rise in the CPA’s Q2 survey in July, showing that the performance of the sector during the period surpassed expectations.

The CPA said the recovery had been driven by post-lockdown demand in the private housing sector.

Over half of all construction products firms expect their sales to rise before the end of the year, with 56% of both light side and heavy side manufacturers anticipating sales to increase over the next three months.

It follows a bruising second quarter which saw the weakest balances for construction products sales since the 2008/9 financial crisis.