Performance figures make encouraging reading for 2023, says latest CPA survey

trade survey

The Construction Products Association’s latest State of Trade Survey for 2023 Q2 showed a continued split in performance in the construction products manufacturing industry.

Heavy side manufacturers’ sales decreased for a fourth consecutive quarter, whereas sales from light side producers registered another quarterly increase, adding to a run of growth that began in 2020 Q3.

Looking to the next 12 months, 14% of heavy side manufacturers anticipated a fall in sales, whilst 46% of light side manufacturers anticipated an increase.

Key survey findings include:

  • A balance of 47% of heavy side firms reported that construction products sales fell in 2023 Q2 compared with Q1, marking a fourth straight quarter of falling sales
  • 29% of light side firms reported product sales rose, the twelfth quarter of growth
  • 14% of heavy side manufacturers anticipated a fall in sales over the next 12 months; 46% of light side manufacturers anticipated a rise
  • 67% heavy side manufacturers and 64% of light side manufacturers cited ‘demand’ as the key concern for sales over the next 12 months
  • Costs rose over the past year for 50% of heavy side manufacturers and 54% of firms on the light side; both were the lowest balances in three years

Strong activity in commercial refurbishment, energy efficiency improvements and fit-out work has driven a three-year run of growth for light side product manufacturers, which contrasts with reticence for new project starts (particularly for private housing, and commercial and factory new builds) that continues to hold back heavy side sales.

Timber products are usually categorised with the Heavyside materials manufacturers, but where members are supplying into light side applications those products ranges may be bucking the general trend for most construction wood products.

Find out more about the State of Trade Survey in the CPA’s latest press release, and if you are a member, you can download the full report here.