The recovery in construction product manufacturing continued in the first quarter of 2021, according to the Construction Product Association, but a constrained global supply of raw materials and components as well as the associated increases in prices, is weighing on the outlook for the year ahead.

Its State of Trade Survey for Q1shows widespread optimism of increased sales and extensions of its job support schemes and housing market stimulus, have helped to underpin confidence that the recovery will continue. However, the supply of raw materials and components now registers as the primary concern for product manufacturers, however, reflecting global supply issues for inputs such as steel, timber, PVC and chemicals.

Rebecca Larkin, CPA Senior Economist said: “The construction industry continues its V-shaped recovery, resulting in another quarter of increased sales for product manufacturers. This appears to be the case particularly in private housing, which is experiencing a flow of pent-up demand and policy support from Help to Buy and the stamp duty holiday.

“Infrastructure and the repair and maintenance sectors are also driving activity as work on major projects accelerates and homeowners and commercial occupiers re-assess their use of space.

“Encouragingly, manufacturers expect continued growth over the next year. This risks being held back by bottlenecks in the global supply of raw materials, however, notably in categories where a high proportion is dependent on imports. Inevitably, rises in input prices have followed and almost all manufacturers expect this inflationary pressure to persist over the next 12 months.”