Steel and cement firms hit by slowdown in home-building

Ben Southwood
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HEAVY industry is suffering in the recession, as light industry goes from strength to strength, according to survey data released by the Construction Products Association (CPA) today.

On balance 45 per cent of heavy side firms, which produce products like cement and steel, reported that sales slid in the second quarter of 2012 compared to the first.

Similarly, 84 per cent of heavy side firms reported higher costs over the quarter, and six per cent reported job cuts in the last year.

The only generally positive areas were exports, which were on balance up for 11 per cent of the 40 per cent of heavy side firms that reported exporting.

But light side firms are on the up. A quarter cited increased exports, 20 per cent reported increased sales, 2.8 per cent reported increased employment and 73 per cent invested in product improvement.

Kelly Forrest, senior economist at the CPA said, “With public sector cutting spending and private sector construction adversely affected by events in the Eurozone, it is unfortunately unsurprising to see product sales affected in Q2.”