Builders face more gloom during 2013

Ben Southwood
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THE construction sector faces another difficult year in 2013, an industry body said this morning, after yet another batch of poor figures came out on Friday.

Some 84 per cent of manufacturers of heavy side construction inputs – such as cement and steel – along with 79 per cent of those putting out light side products – including fittings, heating, doors and windows – said demand from builders would constrain their production in the coming year.

The figures, contained in the Construction Products Association’s (CPA) latest state of trade survey, add to the gloom coming from the Office for National Statistics’ official data. ONS figures showed construction output to be down 9.3 per cent in the fourth quarter, compared to a year earlier.

“After two disappointing quarters, sales of heavy side products fell once again due to difficult market conditions in the construction industry,” said CPA economist Milja Keijonen. “However, sales of light side products rose as the difficult domestic market was offset by strong exports to fast growing Asian economies”

Keijonen said the survey data suggested this trend of divergence would go on.